Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Land of a Thousand Legs

If you don't like to make eight-legged friends as much as I do, this post may not be the post for you.

Now, there's one particular species of spider that likes to hang around in our area during this time of the year. They are big and scary-looking fellows, but they are harmless garden spiders. Specifically, they are Black and Yellow Argiope spiders, and they catch a lot of gross bugs we don't want hanging around. Sadly, two of them have made their homes right on our patio next to our front door. Since we would rather have human guests instead of arachnid ones, we've got to give these friends the boot (very careful not to hurt them, though...they're friendly!).

Now, in our backyard, we found a few more new friends, and we were actually pretty nervous about them. At the looks of it, it was a giant man-eating spider with lots of brown recluse buddies hanging around to help dissolve our skin. I snapped my pictures and high-tailed it out of there. Turns out we had nothing to fear. The big one is a Golden Silk Orb-Weaver (known for the color of its silk, not its body...cool). It will bite but other than causing a little pain, its venom is harmless to humans. It's commonly called a banana spider. Its little brown recluse-looking friends? Well, the one perched right above it is actually the male banana spider, who is always in that location - hanging upside down right behind the female. The other spiders we saw in the web (the ones that looked like brown recluses) were only Argyrodes; they are "kleptoparasites" that live in other spiders' webs and steal their prey. Thankfully, they also are apparently harmless to us two-legged creatures.
I found this picture in my research online, so I'm sorry to whoever I stole it from. Clark tried to stick his hand in there, but since we didn't know what these spiders were, we stopped trying to get the shot. But this is an idea of how big this sucker was (and they cheated too...it looks like the spider is in his hand, but no...it's really just behind the web. Sneaky people). Yeah.

We did a little work around the house this morning, made a trip to Walmart, and stopped by the local town farmer's market. I got some honey sticks, a pineapple (DelMonte brand, but still fresher than from the store), strawberries, and blueberries. I don't like whole, raw blueberries. However, they are so gosh darn good for you that I'm going to try to learn to like them. It might take lots of sugar and Cool Whip to get the hang of them, but I think it's worth a shot. Clark's still out there working, but my back started to hurt so I called it quits for manual labor today. With all the rain we get all the time, our front yard is looking pretty green these days.
Today, it's "cool" outside. By that, I mean that on Wednesday, the thermometer read 108 degrees, and of course the heat index was much hotter. Today, it's about 95 degrees, and it's the first day where working outside is physically tolerable. I've always wondered how people did things without air condition.
Well, off to make some sandwiches for lunch. Have a good one, and stay cool out there!

1 comment:

Clark said...

I am not a big fan of monster spiders.