Saturday, January 31, 2009

Camera Critters #43


I have a love-hate relationship with this week's featured critter.

It's spiders!

Yes, those eight-legged freaks also known as arachnids.

You see, I love it when I come across one outside.  But hate it when I come across one inside...especially in my house.  I do everything I can to remove the critters presence from my dwelling.

This desire to remove any and all from my home, comes from waking several times with a spider walking across my body.  One time, even, the spider was tickling my lips as I slept, and this was in Honduras.  I have no idea what kind it was, or whether it was poisonous or not.  I didn't like where I found it and flicked it somewhere else in my room with my finger.  

Several weeks after that incident, I was participating in an training exercise crawling around under hootches where the nastiest of Honduran spiders resided and they weren't bothering me at all.

So, several years ago when I was visiting my sister, I noticed an Orb Weaver web high in a Juniper tree and added the creatures to my list of photo subjects.  If you look closely on the right hand side of this photo, you can see the web owner sitting in wait for its next victim.  

Also at my sister's, I came across another Orb Weaver spinning a home in the eaves of their garage.  I guess this little fella didn't like me getting as close as I did and took off for its hidey-hole moments after the image below was taken.

However, the best place for me to find an arachnid of any type is on the High Desert.  I don't often come across them, but when I do, I find their variety, size and look very interesting as the next two Orb Weavers show.

I was actually looking for a flying insect which landed somewhere on the spider side of the plant, when I noticed this large creature.  I thought the markings on it were fantastic and fired off a couple of shots.

On another trip into the desert areas around town, I came across the Orb Weaver below.  It was extremely busy at the time building its web and I watched it for several minutes as I snapped shot after shot of it.  The differences between the critter below and the one above is easily seen.  There are more than 2,800 different species of Orb Weavers worldwide and approximately 180 species in North America.

During a trip to San Antonio a couple of years ago, I was wandering around the Mitchell Lake area when I noticed a Jumping Spider scurrying down the stalk of a nearby weed.  This one being different from most of the spiders I had previously seen, I couldn't help but get a photo.  And "a" photo is all I got, as it leaped into the low weeds and disappeared as quick as it appeared.

Finally, one of the more interesting arachnid species is the Daddy-long-legs spiders, also known as Cellar Spiders.  I crossed paths with the one below at a wildlife refuge near Braidwood, Illinois.  I was surprised to see one in the middle of a marshy area, as I had always thought of this species being the type which hide in dark areas such as basements and attics.  But I learned something new that day.

Whether or not any of the above arachnids have more specific common names, I don't know.  My reference material on spiders is limited, and it is slow searching the net for additional information.  Similar looking spiders can be two different species based on the number of bands on the legs, or the number of eyes in clusters, or the design of the critter's mouth.  But I am always doing what I can to improve my knowledge of what I see and shoot in what I like to call, Ashrunner's World.

If you enjoyed (really...I enjoyed bringing it to you) my installment of Misty Dawn's Camera Critters Meme this week, go to her page located here.  There you'll find other players.  And, if you're inspired, join in the fun.

25 comments:

Rose said...

Whether you like spiders or not, you got some good pictures!

Bruce said...

yikes...that's creepy even for a cat!

Villas Girl said...

Hi! I find spiders creepy, but you have captured them very well.

Carolina said...

Nice pictures of the creepy little guys and girls!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Wow, great pics. But I'm with you in the feeling that they are great OUTside.

Grammy said...

Great photos. I am at peace with most spiders and know they can be beneficial. But I do dispose of the brown recluse only when he enters my home.
Have a great week.
Grammy
Missouri, USA

Kerri said...

I definitely have a phobia about spiders...however I am slowing overcoming it.
Great shots!

Jedediah said...

Those are amazing pictures, the markings on the spider's body in the third picture are especially beautiful.

Darla said...

Don't we all have that love/hate relationship with these critters?

ramblingwoods.com said...

These are great..I am trying to learn more about the 'bugs' that inhabit my area....

Tammy said...

Those are great pictures! They gave me the shivers though...spiders are scary.

Karen said...

Nice photos!

I also have a love/hate relationship with spiders. We have heaps of Black Widows around here. I have learned to shake footwear out before I put them on, ever since I went to put on my slippers and noticed a movement inside one.... a Black Widow!

Lapa37 said...

Great pictures even though my skin is crawling.

Mimi said...

I couldn't even read the whole post, it's too creepy!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

The only sort of spiders I can tolerate (and they MUST be outside) are the Orb Weavers; I find them fascinating -- a left over effect of seeing "Charlotte's Web," no doubt! :) All others must GO!

Nice photos and commentary.

Dianne said...

these are amazing close-ups!!

Misty Dawn said...

Hmmmm... no Banana Spiders ;-)

These are great shots. I especially like the first photo of the Orb you found in the High Desert. You are right, it's markings are fantastic!

Norm said...

these spider pictures are great, so wonderful. Check out my camera critters here and thanks for leaving a comment.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Very nice photos!

Julie said...

I am not fond of spiders either but always stop and take a shot of one if I don't have to get real close, LOL. Great shots.

Groomer Angie said...

Great photos! Lovely spiders! The only one that bothers me is the Brown Recluse & we have tons of those around here. Thanks for sharing.

ratmammy said...

great photos but i hate spiders..!!

Gayle said...

Those are great photos of spiders, but I would squish them all!

Manz said...

all the hairs on my body just stood up!

fredsmilek said...

Great pictures.

Fred Smilek is the acting president of the Society to Save Endangered Species. It was founded two years ago by Fred Smilek along with his two best friends Charles and Jonathan. http://www.fredjsmilek.com