Wednesday, June 19, 2013

the itsy bitsy spider

If you're squeamish about spiders, I'm sorry about the following photos.  I actually felt the same way you do.  Growing up in the country, we had loads of big, hairy wolf spiders everywhere, especially in our garage (where I liked to play) or around the wood pile.  My grandpa and I had an insect collection and even though spiders aren't insects, we pinned several of them to the collection board.  I shuddered every time I passed by!  I felt the same way about praying mantises.  But I forced myself to learn about why I didn't like them.  I read about them and photographed them, and while I certainly don't like to be surprised by either one, I've developed a grudging admiration for them.  

Let's face it - spiders are EVERYWHERE.  They spin beautiful webs and eat a ton of bothersome insects, like mosquitoes (some estimates show that an average spider eats over 2000 insects per year!).  Although I'm still not a fan of big, hairy spiders, I do enjoy looking at the smaller ones. 

This little spider has made a comfortable nest in one of my nasturtium leaves.  He's got a nice mottled body and translucent legs, and a pretty nice setup for catching gnats and other tiny insects!

I spied this tiny green spider curled up in a cluster of hydrangea buds.

He's a green jumping spider (Lyssomanes viridis), also known as the Magnolia Green Jumper.

His eyes are on top of his head in that reddish spot - see them?  They have terrific vision, like all jumping spiders.  I think he's a beauty!

This Opilione rests in the heat of the day under a basil leaf.

He's a harvestman, a creature I've always called a "grandaddy longlegs".  However,  while Opilione are in the class Arachnid, they are not considered spiders.  They have a solid instead of segmented body, do not spin webs, have just a single pair of eyes, and no venom glands.  Their bodies are actually nicely colored, like a pebble:

I have to admit, they still creep me out.

I finally got a good shot of a Venusta Orchard Spider abdomen:


Even if you don't see a spider, they are most likely close by.  Living in the woods, we have lots of webs, even between the boards on our deck:

This little house spider spun a web on the outside of one of our windows.  She made her egg sac, which hatched yesterday:

Still, I'm glad this is outside and not inside!

I've obviously had spiders on the brain lately, and this dragonfly nearly gave me a heart attack last week when he landed on our back first glance, I thought he was a spider!

We've had more great rain lately.  Mushrooms are springing up everywhere.

My ferns are loving it.  I have three kinds.  This I call "bronze"...

This is "alligator":

This is "maidenhair":

The hosta flowers are starting to open up.

My hydrangea is budding out more and more, in a beautiful deep blue.

The clearance hydrangeas I bought at Lowe's all died.  I left them in the ground, though, because sometimes... get lucky and they come back.

The rain has caused some significant yellowing of the gardenia flowers.  Hopefully some sun will bring them back.

My little toad has moved from the side to the front of the house!  I stumbled over him in the front path.

I've done some indoor crafting because of the rain.  A friend's older son was getting braces and I decided to make him a card.  I'd seen this grill "pinned" as a Father's Day card on Pinterest.  I liked the way it looked and decided to pun with it.

The grill was easy to make.  A circle cut in half, with a brad in the corner for a hinge.  Construction paper flames.  The wheels were the eyes from my owl paper punch.

The inside:

I used a clear embossing marker to draw on the braces and heat embossing powder to make them shiny and raised.

Get it?  Grill?  I was very amused!

Hope you can do something creative today...have a great week!


  1. Great pictures. I cannot stand spiders. My sis was bit by a brown recluse and had to have a total blood transfusion. YIKES! They frighten me. And jumping ones...!!!

  2. Thanks! I's a work in progress for me, too. I'm always careful, and especially now in SC...we have black AND brown widow spiders, plus the brown recluse. Shudder!