Thursday, October 29, 2009

That's definitely an hourglass so she must be a Black-widow Spider...

Joan found her under a tarp covering a huge pull-behind leaf vacuum. I chased her (the spider) around for while trying to get a shot that included the hourglass and failed. Eventually I picked her up by a thread that she'd spun and lowered her quickly. She ended up on her back and I snapped the picture. I feel a little bad at having deprived her of her dignity for the sake of a photograph, but on the upside (for her) we didn't kill her. She crawled between two huge wet slabs of oak and I don't expect to see her again. Black-widows are fairly dangerous animals; usually bites don't result in death but once in a while they do. They like it dark and moist and were traditionally habitues of privies; the numbers of bites has declined steeply as indoor plumbing has replaced outhouses.

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