Monday, August 1, 2011

Arachnophobes beware!

I have never been, to ANY degree, a "fan" of creepy crawlies. Studying insects is not my favorite part of homeschooling. I squish anything that moves, most of the time. And SPIDERS? I dare say I have been turned into an instant-Ninja on many, many occasions by either walking into a spider web or finding one of the little creepy critters walking waaaaaay too close to me.

But right now, I am going way out of character. I am going to freak out anybody who has ever struggled with arachnophobia at all by posting some pictures of what we have found on our front porch this last week. I walked out to get the mail early last week and found this enormous (at least for my spider-o-phobic sensitivities) eight-legged creature spinning a web from the eave of our front porch. Scared the stew out of me. Thankfully I had a friend here at the house watching the girls during one of my numerous physical therapy appointments, and she informed me that it's a totally harmless "garden" spider, a golden orb weaver. The more I looked (gawked, in complete disbelief, would be a better description), the more I realized that this creature is truly beautiful. Just look at the coloration!

She's even pretty from behind! Here she is a couple of days after she showed up, finally munching on a spider that had gotten trapped in her web (her prey's body was the size of a June bug but had the markings of a brown recluse)

This wasn't an incredibly detailed picture, but I kind of like how the camera focused on the web from that odd angle ... and the way her legs are all curled up, WOW, she's scary looking from this side!

The girls have become a bit enamored with "Charlotte" (yes, they named her!), and they stop to say hello and goodbye every time they pass her on the porch. We decided a while ago that she needed to stay, especially since orb weavers are good at catching some bigger flying pests ... like wasps! So we'll let her stick around and catch bugs and spin her web on our porch. Today, Charlotte has a visitor ... a MALE visitor!

Just look at the size difference between Charlotte and her new beau! Methinks he may become lunch after ... well, um, after a while. <>

We are certainly "enjoying" the nature display that is going on right in front of us, but I'm not sure how I'll feel once there are a hundred or so (yes, I know ... probably a LOT more) baby spiders floating around. Better brush up on my Ninja skills, huh?

Oh, the really hilarious bit of irony? We started our new homeschool year today. I actually set up most of the lesson plans before the surgery, two months ago, so I only had to "grab and go" today ... and whaddaya know? Our very first scheduled read-aloud of the year?

Charlotte's Web.

1 comment:

Esther Neumann said...

I love spiders lol. Animals in general. Just not roaches. Jeff is the one that kills them all but he tells Billy he just puts them to sleep. So when we were prepping our garden we found a beautiful big momma wolfspider with a big egg-sack hanging on her back. I yelled at Jeff: "don't kill her!" and he replied: "no, I won't". Knowing my hubby I gave him the evil eye and replied: "don't you put her to sleep either!". He stil cracks up over that. When you take a closer look at them lil hairy fellows (salticids) they look like they have real faces too cute. But their houses are real miracles. The only ones I rather not wanna see are brown recluse and black widow. Both of which run around here YUCK

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