Monday, September 14, 2009

Spiders and Pajamas

Labor Day weekend I visited my sister in Ohio. While there my brother-in-law, an avid gardener, called me outside to look at a spider that had taken residence in his beans. I was quite excited to find this whopper, a beautiful female Fishing Spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus, with a nest.

She had taken silk and fastened a few leaves together to make a nice protective nest. She was on guard on the outside. I warned my brother-in-law that spiders can be very protective when around their young, so we were careful not to bother her too much. At one point, while taking pictures, I got too close and she jumped at me. I backed off pretty quickly. Normally, I don't mind spiders at all and will even pick them up, but I knew she was in defense mode and might bite.

Such beautiful markings on this spider and such a large specimen. With her legs outstretched, she was about the size of my palm. (Yes, I know for some of my readers in Australia and other parts of the world this is a small spider, but for Ohio and Indiana, it is a big one! )

I walked aroung the back part of the nest and could peak inside and see some of the tiny spiderlings. They were so cute!

Kyle, my nephew's fiance's four-year-old child, is a bug lover and wanted to see the spider later that day. I took him outside and we looked at mama and the babies. He was absolutely thrilled. It was time for us to go, so I told him it was time for the spiderlings to go to bed, that they needed to put their pajamas on and brush their fangs. He thought that was hilarious and giggled about it for the rest of the evening.



Linsi Latimer said...

Hey that's still a big spider! I love the babies!

Janet Creamer said...

Wish I was in Australia with you...
So much to see...:)

dAwN said...

wow..thats one big spider!
I love how u teach the young to appreciate nature!