Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Little Miss Muffet

There is this spider just outside our front door and I've been watching her. The first time I tried to take photographs, she heard the click and ran away. So yesterday, I saw she was eating one of her catch and decided to try photographing once more since my camera was already out. My oldest grand daughter was the only one awake and she followed me. This was a huge move forward for her because a couple years ago she was staying over night at her grandparents in Washington and her mother was dressing her. She reached for her daughter's shirt on the bed and a large wolf spider crawled out of the neck of it. Our daughter screamed, our grand daughter followed suite, and until this summer screams or at least, "Grandma kill it, Grandma kill it", would ensue at the sight of every spider in sight.
Luckily, Daddy Long Legs have been prevalent around the yard right now. And since NO they are not poisonous unlike what many people would try to tell you, I figured they were a good spider to introduce our grand children to the arachnid world.
This would not have been the case last summer, unfortunately, Hobo spiders were everywhere. Like their name implies, they do wander and I'm thrilled to announce they apparently have wandered off because I haven't seen but a few web this summer. The years before that it was wolf spiders that pervaded the yard and some made their way inside. Once I picked up a dish rag and a big one dropped out of it into our stainless steel kitchen sink. Between the loud plunk and the unexpected sight of it, I admit I squealed a little. No, not screamed though Kirk would say otherwise, but a squeal. I don't think I can scream. I don't know how. Then our daughters friend, a male, tried to stick her in the kitchen sink and hence, she now fears spiders.
If your familiar with wolf spiders, you know they look too much like a tarantula for comfort and they do bite. That moves them to my not nice list. That and I've seen some pretty good bruises from their pinching bite when neighborhood kids start playing with them and they take a dislike to the whole affair. So I was happy to see lots of Daddy Long Legs around. And now that our grand daughter has grown more comfortable with them, I'm shifting her to watching other spiders. Not that I want her to handle them but watching can be a fascinating pass time. I've spent many hours as a youth observing them and I still like to steal moments to observe. Though I don't advocate actually picking them up, except Daddy Long Legs, I do want our grand children not to fear them. Respect, yes, for I've experienced the nasty side to some spiders personalities. I was bit by a Hobo spider last summer and I've been bit twice at one time by a Black Widow. So I know some of the miseries they can inflict. Kirk jokes that I've only one poisonous spider in Wyoming to go, the Recluse, and then I'll have a complete set. I could do without that experience as I definitely didn't ask for the first two and would not wish the experience on anyone.
Despite painful memories of those encounters, I don't condemn the whole species. I appreciate their ridding my yard of other bugs. Spiders are an accentual part of nature.
From a photographic sense, I was thrilled our grand daughter would watch in the background as it made a much more interesting photo. Though I like the photos, I'd still love a better macro someday so I could capture the details of the small spider.
Just so you know not to breathe a word about this post to my grand daughter, I'm in deep doo doo over these photos. She wasn't in focus in these pictures and she informed me, in a rather disgusted tone, that I messed up big. I tried to explain to her that I had done it on purpose. Wrong move! The no sweetheart, you do not rate below a spider, explanation didn't cut it. There is just no explaining to a grandchild why her beloved grandmother would choose to make a spider in focus and her not. So mumms the word and she'll never know she was presented to the world all fuzzy for artistic reasons.

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