Monday, May 10, 2010

Spiders That Have Crawled Into My Life

Anyone who really knows me knows that I am creeped out by most bugs, especially spiders. I have been known to shriek during certain encounters, particularly when I am caught off guard by sudden movements from these arachnids.

That being said, I have to admit to a morbid fascination with them that I believe stems from my love of macro photography and natural curiosity. I don't normally hunt them out, but when I happen to see something interesting I like to pull out my trusty point and shoot and take a few shots.

The following pictures are of spiders I've seen over the past few years. The original plan was to look up each species of spider, but after several hours of looking at images on the internet I couldn't take any more adrenaline rushes or feeling the goose bumps coming on. I can't believe what a primal reaction is stored in my body, but I guess that's self-preservation kicking in. Just be warned that these photos may cause extreme discomfort. If you can get past that, you may be able to appreciate the beauty in them. I've personally found myself referring to jumping spiders as "cute" recently, which is a giant leap for me. For some incredibly beautiful EXTREME closeups of some jumping "cuties", look up Thomas Shahan's photostream on Flickr. So, without further adieu...

Phidippus Putnami or Daring Jumping Spider?

This beautiful jumping spider was photographed at Reflection Riding a couple of years ago. I remember being really scared because it would rear up like it was going to leap at me, then jump around quickly. I've since seen video footage of these spiders jumping onto the camera...these guys are pretty bold! I've put out some inquiries on the species...I thought maybe it was a Daring Jumping Spider because they're known to have iridescent blue or green chelicerae (where the fangs are), but Glen from Spiderzrule says that it isn't because it would have to be either brown or black with a white spot. I've seen pictures of a sub-adult Phidippus Putnami in Thomas Shahan's photos that looks similar, but his spider didn't have the iridescent green chelicerae. Maybe because his is a young female, and this could be a mature male??? I just don't know.

crab spider

I found this alien looking spider guarding the lock to my driver's side car door. It's a crab spider, though I'm not sure which one. Crab spiders don't move very quickly, but ambush their prey while hiding inside flowers. (see more info)

This guy came in with one of my peonies from the garden. I don't know what it is, but it's very quick, likes to jump, and is extremely shy.

a very shy guy

Jumping Spider

This cutie is a very tiny jumping spider who is about to eat the bug that looks like a chunk of dirt beside him.

I found this one hiding in a rose outside...

This scary looking monster had built a web barely past the sidewalk outside our front door. It was hanging from really tall trees about face high...Yikes! It hid in the tree during the day, and descended its web at night. There was nothing little about this spider or its web.

Photographed at night from our front steps

Jumping Spider

Here's another little jumping spider I found on someone's car in a parking lot.

This one was found indoors.

Jumping Spider

This little guy was found on a bush, and he feasted on bugs while I was photographing him.

Trying to hide on the underside of a leaf

Enjoying a winged meal

Wolf Spiders really creep me out!

This Wolf Spider was hiding on the back fence in his darkened tunnel.

Granddaddy Long Legs

This Granddaddy Long Legs was hiding underneath a leaf. My husband says he is especially freaked out by these spiders.

I don't know what species this is but it reminds me of a recluse...[shudder]. It was found in the house.

This spider was so tiny I could hardly see it. It was sharing the same bush as the Granddaddy Long Legs, not very far away from him either.