Posts Tagged ‘spider’

Obelisk Position

I was out early this morning for my daily spider hunt.

Then I got side tracked by this dragonfly in its obelisk position. This position reduces the amount of sun/heat on the dragonfly.

Long Spider Silk

A spider spun the long length of silk above. Actually, it’s all one piece.

This is the same strand of silk as the one above. A slight breeze or air movement moves it and changes how much of the silk is seen.

  The spider silk is flat and easily moves about in the slightest breeze. Movement changes its appearance.

 Each of the pictures has a short white flat strip of spider silk too. It’s in different light from the ones in the sunlight.

(The silk wasn’t twisted like in the bottom picture. I don’t know why it looks like that in the picture.)

Mystery Solved

The more I researched this, the more confused I became.

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I found this web stretched in the crotch of a dead pear tree in our backyard. The day was cloudy. I had no idea what the “line” was in the center of the web.

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Then I found a smaller web in a clump of sedum. Obviously, it had the same mystery in the center of it too.

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This was an even closer shot of the center of the web. The silk was so thin it was hard to see.

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I didn’t see a spider in any of these webs until today. The bluish shape on the right, near the center of the picture moved. The spider changed its position in the web. It went out from the center and quickly back. I started taking pictures. It was almost impossible to get a focused picture with the small size of the web. My camera kept focusing on the background instead.

I found a position with the leaves behind and showing the spider. At least I solved the mystery of the spider’s location, and that the other shapes are the spider’s egg cases.

P.S. I have found many of these spider and egg cases scattered around the yard.

 

Ponytail Plant

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I move my few houseplants outside in the summer, and place them at the base of a sweet gum tree. The ponytail plant (which is around 40 years old) is quite heavy and is at least four feet tall. There’s been more activity around it this summer than usual.

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A leaf-footed bug’s found plenty of hiding places.

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A daddy-longlegs stayed close for some reason,

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and a young praying mantis didn’t like my attention.

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And then this “showed up.” I walk a morning loop around our backyard, looking for spider webs to photograph, and have found several of these spider egg sacs. In all my years and years of hiking and camping, I’ve never seen one until this summer. So far I’ve found eight or nine of them.

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My oldest son told me they’re spider egg sacs. They’re quite a curiosity. I don’t know if there’s one egg in each or more than one. The spider has shed its skin and isn’t around.

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I just went out one last time to get pictures as close as I could. The egg sacs appear to be different now. The third one down from the top looks like the spider might be breaking out of the egg sac.

A Change of Seasons

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These black-eyed Susans were the hub of activity much longer than I expected.

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This small spider apparently thought it was well camouflaged back in early August.

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Today, September 6, shows a dramatic change in the flowers during the last two months.

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Another spider had staked its claim for any remaining possible “live” food.

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 This spider picked a unappetizing-looking flower-head. At least the sedum behind it would attract insects.

Glide in For a Landing … and More

Today started out sounding like spring with a robin loudly singing in our front yard, and a great horned owl hooting to the north.

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The kitchen sink isn’t exactly my favorite place to be, but I often see interesting things while there. The window faces west.

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 Strands of silk drifted in on a light breeze and landed close to the porch. The silk measured approximately 3 1/4 inches long.

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I first suspected an adult spider had spun it because of the size of the silk … only adult spiders wouldn’t do this.  Spiderlings produce silk but don’t build a web.

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 Maybe it was the spiderling of a larger species of spider. Today turned out to be a sunny day with the temperature reaching 67. An eastern phoebe repeated its name in the backyard this afternoon.

So…. our days finally look and feel much more like spring is here in southern Illinois!

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The spiders had a surprise waiting for me in the evening.

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 The sun was getting lower, and I noticed spider silk reflecting the sunlight. I hurried out in the front yard with my camera.

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A light breeze added movement to the single strands of silk.

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The camera seemed to have a mind of its own as to how the pictures turned out.

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 I just snapped and snapped pictures with the light quickly changing.

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Then I noticed the dramatic effect on the other side of the highway. I stood on our hill and zoomed in for closer pictures of across the road. The speed of the sun lowering in the sky didn’t give me much time to do anything but quickly snap pictures. The reflected light shimmered with a light breeze.

Everywhere I looked, and as far as I could see, there were strands of spider silk.

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The breezes moved the spiderlings’ strands in the trees, grass and other dried vegetation.

I took thirty-eight pictures in eleven minutes before the sun sank to the horizon.

Then, when I remembered to check the next day, every bit of the spiders’ silk was gone.

I can’t imagine what the sky looked like with so many ballooning spiderlings! I sure wish I’d seen it!

Among the Fossils

Buffy and I commonly walk loops around the backyard. The loop passes solitary rocks, piles of rocks … rocks and more rocks.

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This particular loop walk took me by a small pile of fossil rocks. I turned the longest rock over to see what fossils were on the underside, and there was a teeny-tiny spider.

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It’s body was 3/16th of an inch long! The stripes on its abdomen became obvious when I turned the rock toward the sun.

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The rock was filled with brachiopods (shells) and the round discs of crinoid stems.

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 It looked as if the spider was over a cavity. I wondered where it would spend the winter. Would it even survive the winter?

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After a little research, I now think it was an immature daddy-long-legs. Its legs were definitely LONG!

I was so surprised to find a spider on the 17th of December, especially such a teeny one.