Woolly Spider

To avoid any possible confusion, please do not think that the “official” name of this type of spider is “woolly spider”.  It’s not.  Or it could be for all I know. LOL  That’s just what I call them, “woolly little jumping spiders”.

I am not fond of spiders, but ….  if I find one interesting while out with my camera, I will sometimes take it’s photo.  This little fella kept sitting on the side of our gutter, defying gravity, and hopping back and forth until finally I gave in and photographed him.  If you are squeamish like me in regards to spiders, I apologize in advance.

This little guy (or gal) was about the size of a dime.  Notice it’s creepy little spider shadow.  eeewww

~ ~ ~

Creepy smiling spider

Ok, sorry in advance for the crummy photo quality.  But this was a very small spider, suspended over some of my hostas, in blowing wind.  So this is heavily cropped and is the best I could do.  And if you read here often you know I’m not terribly fond of spiders but I thought that the spot on it that nearly glowed was interesting, as was whatever it has near it’s head that gives an appearance of a creepy clown smile.  LOL!  So I just had to throw it in here.

~ ~ ~

Spider on a crocus bloom

I believe I’ve mentioned on here before that I am not terribly fond of photographing spiders, as they kinda give me the creeps.  But occasionally one will interest me.  I was looking at the newest crocus blooms today and saw this little one on one of the blooms.

~

a closer look:

~

What happened next is kinda funny (now).  I moved my camera to take photos of some other crocus blooms beside of this one.  (I’ll probably post a couple of those next.)  But while doing that, I had the camera extremely close to the bloom this spider was on.  When I raised the camera, the spider was gone.  The last time I looked at him he was taking one of those stances like they do when threatened.  So upon noticing that he was missing I went into a search of my camera, hoping he hadn’t jumped or crawled onto it when I had it too close to him.  I didn’t see him on my camera at all.  But was still wondering where he had went to, when finally I spotted him.

He had been hiding on the underside of the crocus bloom the entire time.

And I had wasted 5 minutes searching my camera for nothing.  LOL!

~ ~ ~

Spider face

I noticed a tiny spider on the side of our vehicle.   I don’t take a lot of spider photos.  As I have mentioned before, I find spiders fairly creepy.   But I was amazed at what I saw when I looked at this photo.

Here is what my eye saw as I walked past our vehicle:

Nothing particularly special there, right?   But I noticed the spider’s reaction to me.  He turned and did that aggressive stance at me as I got nearby.  I don’t know what type of spider these are, but I have seen them before, and they almost always do that if you get near them.

Here’s what I found sort of amazing:

Do you see what I see?  A face.   Yeah, I’ve seen close ups of spiders before.  But I really thought this one was quite interesting.  Also notice the tiny little string of web that is attached to it’s back leg, helping it hold onto the vehicle.  To give you an idea of scale, this entire spider was small enough to fit on a dime, easily.

~

One last “face” photo, then we’re done with spiders for the day… I promise.  🙂

~ ~ ~

Spider babies!

Ok admittedly spiders give me the creeps, so you don’t see them too often here.  But occasionally I do photograph them.  This post is a combination of photos from two different dates.  On September 23rd, 2009 I saw this little nest tucked into the side of the brick.  I assumed it was a nest for spider babies, because that’s what it looked like to me.  But I wasn’t 100% certain at the time.  I decided to photograph it and then look in on it from time to time.  I figured I would probably never catch the babies on film, but I thought it might be worth a try.

This is what I saw in September:

~

I would take a peek at it from time to time, just to see if it was still there.  And today (November 8th, 2009) I saw this.  A nest full of little black baby spiders.  They are so tiny it didn’t really give me the creeps too bad.  LOL!

~

Here’s a close up:

Ok, they are a little creepy on close up.  LOL
I could have gotten better macro shots but I was doing some serious stretching and balancing to get this shot, since they are somewhat blocked by big English boxwoods.  So this was the best I could do, given the location.  Still I thought it was pretty cool that I happened by at just the right time to catch a photo of them.  I went back out a couple of hours later and they were all gone.

~ ~ ~

And the winner was…

The mud dauber vs. spider post got lots of traffic yesterday.  So I was a little surprised that there weren’t more guesses as to who won.  The winner in the conflict that I photographed and video taped below, was actually the spider!  A little surprising considering they are the prey of the mud dauber.  But it’s true.  The spider put up a good fight and he won.  At least twice I saw him bite the mud dauber and the mud dauber jumped back like it hurt him.  Once he actually flew off for a few minutes, then came back and attacked the spider again.  But the last time the spider got him, he left.  And I did not see him come back.  As you can see below the spider was looking pretty worse for the wear though.

DSCF0018c_80%_wC

I wondered if maybe the spider was paralyzed by the mud dauber and the mud dauber was just going to come back for it later or something, since the spider looked so rough.  But I continued to see the spider for a couple more days, and it was moving about out there and stuff.  And even looked better the next day.  So I guess he made it.  I thought it was impressive how hard the mud dauber was willing to work for his food, and how hard the spider fought.  I know I only took a few short video clips, but their “battle” actually went on for quite a long time.  Probably at least 20 minutes or longer.

Sorry for the creepies… but it was Halloween.  😉

~ ~ ~

Mud Dauber verses Spider

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!!

I thought since Halloween makes you think of the creepy and spooky, that I would try to share a little creepy post for today.  So, for today’s post I am pulling something out of my personal photo archives (i.e. pre-blogging days).  The photos and video that you will see below were captured October 4th of 2008.

Many people are not aware of the way in which the mud dauber feeds it’s young.  And in my opinion it is rather creepy.  Mud daubers like to prey upon spiders.  The blue mud dauber prefers to prey upon the poisonous black widow spider (as I have mentioned previously on this blog).  But other mud daubers (like the one below) tend to go for orb weaving spiders, or other spiders.  Some people know that mud daubers use spiders to feed their young.  But many people aren’t aware of how they do this.  And therein lies the creepy part of this post.  The adult mud daubers do not kill the spider.  They catch the spider, sting it, causing paralysis.  And then they stuff the paralyzed spider into their nests and lay their larvae on the still living spider.  They cap their nest and the spider is eaten – while alive – by the mud dauber larva.  (I told you it was creepy.)

Last year, while standing at my kitchen sink washing dishes I noticed a battle going on under the eave of our house outside my window.  A spider had made a tight little home for himself and was hiding in it.  A wasp came and landed outside of the spider’s tunnel and started to attempt to pull the spider out.  The battle that followed was very creepy to watch and went on for quite some time.  The spider put up quite a fight.  Sometimes trying to hide, other times trying to come out and fight.  The mud dauber was hampered a great deal in his efforts by the spiders webbing, that he was staying underneath.

I will post the photos here first, but it really is worth taking the time to watch the video clips.  It’s really something how very hard this mud dauber works trying to get this spider.  The video clips are fairly short but the whole thing went on for quite some time.   The spider would sometimes bite the mud dauber and the mud dauber would jump back visibly shaken, then go at the spider again.  Sometimes it looked as if the spider would win.  Other times it looked as if the mud dauber would win.  I won’t spoil the ending just yet ….

DSCF0009c_30%_wC

~

DSCF0006c_40%_wC

~

DSCF0010c_50%_wC

~

DSCF0011c_70%_wC

~

DSCF0014c_70%_wC

~

DSCF0015c_70%_wC

~

Now for the video clips:
(They are all short and listed in the order they occurred.  But if you don’t have a lot of time, clip 3 is probably the best of the bunch.)

~

Yes, that is my little girl you hear humming in the background.
It’s never quiet in a house with three little kids. (I was filming from inside, through the window.)

~

~

~

~

So…  What do you think?  Who do you think won the battle?  The spider or the mud dauber?

Leave me a comment below with your guess if you like.
And I will post who the winner was, the mud dauber or the spider, on tomorrow’s blog post (November 1st).

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!!

~ ~ ~