12 August 2010

Oh, what a tangled blog I write...

So, I have this thing with spiders. No, not that thing... The other thing. I'm kinda obsessed with them. Sometimes. I don't touch them... After all, they're bugs. I know they aren't bugs bugs, but they're still bugs!

Well, except for tarantulas, which are really more like mice, but with more eyes and extra legs and scarier teeth. I'll hold those.

But not spiders. And especially not spiders that I know will kill me. Such as the black widow.

Still, I find them fascinating. In fact, the black widow is one of the most beautiful of the arthropods. More so than stink bugs, assassin bugs, centipedes, dragonflies, and even lobsters and shrimp, which we eat.

The black widow's sleek, black body has few of those nasty hairs which make some spiders particularly frightening to look at, and she's shiny, and has colors that humans actually combine on purpose because they contrast well. Some are sleeker than others, and there are about eight different types of black widows in the US alone. Or something like that. I don't feel up to counting them right now.

Anyway, I like to take pictures of spiders, among other things (my friend Dayna said I was obsessing with photography, so I hit her with my tripod), but my favorite pictures are the ones that other people are too smart to take. Such as the ones that involve climbing a ladder and balancing atop a fence, or standing in the middle of a busy street, or putting a teddy bear on an ancient holy statue.

Or closeups of deadly animals. :-D

So, I had once found a black widow by accident. I was out taking pictures of a tree one day, and before mounting my camera against the trunk I checked a bole on the tree... Ironically, I was checking to make sure there wasn't a spider there which would bite me. There was. That's why it's ironic.

What I found was a Southern Black Widow. Very sleek and slender, honestly the most beautiful spider I had ever found. As it happens, I had my camera with me, and took a picture. I didn't realize then what she was, since she was only less than half an inch long from spinnerets to toes, and I didn't really know what a black widow looked like, except that it was black and had a red hourglass on its tummy. My camera had a better eye than I did, though.

I had only taken the one picture of her, so I went back the next day to do the smart thing... Catch her and take her home to my friends.

Have I mentioned just how smart I really am?

I brought her home in a baby food jar. My roommates had something to say about this. In fact, I learned a few new bad words that day. In the end, Giordi killed her. :'( And before I could get any better pictures, too!

So I thought my chance was over. Never again would I get an opportunity to take picturs of a black widow. And most of the pictures on the Internet were so sucky. But I was wrong! A few days ago, I was surfing the web, trying to figure out if I was the first person to come up with the idea of a business hosting phone sex entirely for nerds, and my friend Jean called to me... "Come outside. And bring your camera. And your tri-whatta-thingie."

So I grabbed my camera and my tri-whatta-thingie and headed outside barefoot. Why not? It's only nature. It's not like there's anything dangerous. To be honest, I was trying not to step in poo more than I was watching for bitey things. She led me to an area that had just that day been exposed to The World after over a year under a tarp, and...

Dun dun DUNNNNN!!!!!

I said, "Is that...?"

She said, "Yes."




"Yep!" :-]

I looked at it for a minute and said, "Honestly, I'm sure they don't come in that size. I think it's photoshopped." So I stole a neighbor's cat, and.... Long story short, I have a new photo subject. She's just over an inch long, butt to feet, and her abdomen is about half an inch in diameter. It should be noted that when I did my research this was listed as the maximum size.

For a pregnant female.

So, without further delay...

Now, I'll be the first to admit that these pictures aren't very good. In fact, they're not even among the best I've taken. But isn't she magnificent? Besides, it's hard to take good photos under poor lighting conditions when your bare feet are being eaten alive by ants. But today I was able to capture her scale better when I found her enjoying a light snack...

Wow, right?!?!? And before you ask, yes, that's a full-grown cacada. It must have crawled up there to leave behind its shell and take flight. By the way, it should be noted that, although they're deadly to humans, black widow spiders are not aggressive, and only bite in self-defense. If you get close to one, you're safe, but if you stick a finger in the nest, she'll feel threatened. And they're quite fast. But less aggressive (and less deadly) than many humans I know.

Anyway, it's getting late, and I should be getting some sleep.

Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite.

hehe :-D

1 comment:

sudheer said...

ah the last few pictures are a bit eekkkkkkkkk...... but i found a smaller brother of the spider- you have shown in this post-in india.the body of the indian species is a less bulgy than this one.