Tag Archives: spider

Let hostilities commence

Wednesday 12th August 2020, 1.20pm (day 3,275)

Two daddy longlegs, 12/8/20

What is the plural of daddy longlegs?  Daddy longlegses?  Daddies longlegs?  Neither seems very satisfactory.  Anyway, these two members of the genus Pholcidae were either about to square off with each other — or possibly mate.  As I type this the following morning, I’m looking at the same spot in the corner of our living room, and neither of them is there now, so it was either a devastating battle or a good party.

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Cobweb city

Friday 20th September 2019, 8.30am (day 2,948)

Cobweb city, 20/9/19

Continuing my two-day walk, in the morning, the heath was at points a profusion of cobwebs, highlighted by dew and the morning sun: this photo captures a portion of it but cannot reflect the sheer scale of this spider-city, a fly’s vision of hell. When I returned past this point a few hours later, there was no sign of all this. Note the little brown leaf trapped to centre right, proof this is not a monochrome shot.

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Death of the wasp

Monday 17th December 2018, 1.05pm (day 2,671)

Death of the wasp, 17/12/18

This could be the first confirmed death of an organism to be documented on the blog: unlike this bumblebee, the wasp didn’t get away. Paralysed, wrapped in unbreakable bonds and dragged away to some dark corner where its captor will slowly suck its juices out over the next couple of days. I hope your ending is not as harsh as that. Nor mine, come to that.

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Spider sulk

Saturday 14th October 2017, 1.30pm (day 2,242)

Garden spider, 14/10/17

Strimming the long grass on the allotment today I think I inadvertently took out this spider’s web: the remnants of it are visible to the left. It then had to put up with me sticking my camera in its personal space immediately afterward. I’m sure it’ll get over the difficulties; spiders have been on this planet a lot longer than us, and I’m sure will outlive us, too.

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Cave spider

Monday 22nd May 2017, 10.20am (day 2,097)

Cave spider, 22/5/17

As has happened before, an otherwise dull day at home was photographically enlivened by visiting the cave spiders in the shed. Meta menardi is about the largest species of spider you will find in Great Britain and we have at least four of them happily living out their lives downstairs. I love the little hairs on its legs. But, OK, I probably wouldn’t want one scampering over my face or anything.

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The spider colony, rediscovered

Wednesday 17th August 2016, 9.35am (day 1,819)

Spiders and egg sacs, 17/8/16

Those of you who haven’t already quickly moved on, shrieking, may care that I hadn’t seen any of the cave spiders in the shed since a couple of years ago: 22/6/14 was the last appearance of one on here. Thought they had moved out, but three turned up today under an old table that we had in there. I think the one on the left is the one I got in a better picture of on 9/6/12; the red markings on the legs (though not that clear on this shot) are very similar. And look, it’s sweet. They’re breeding….

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The cave spider, again

Sunday 22nd June 2014, 12.15pm (day 1,032)

Cave spider, 22/6/14

Apologies to the arachnophobes amongst you but I think these are beautiful and impressive creatures. I have no idea whether this is the same one I’ve captured before; there is definitely more than one living in our sheds, possibly three big ones or more. As long as their webs are not disturbed they make quite willing models.

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Bumblebee in big trouble

Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 9.35am (day 972)

Bumblebee and apider, 23/4/14

I know this is an essentially crap photo, with the focus all wrong, but it was a dramatic moment, at least at the micro-scale. I was trying to get a photo of this bumblebee as it buzzed around the plants by our front door, when suddenly it blundered into this web down by our old coal cellar, where the cave spiders live. Now I don’t know about you but if something one and a half times my size — and bumblebees, in insect terms, are not small — came leaping out at me with the intention of making me lunch, I think my life would flash before my eyes even if it was just an insect life. Three seconds later the bumblebee escaped, but I bet those were the longest three seconds it had ever known. I managed to get this one shot of the drama.

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Tent-web spiders (feel free to avoid)

Saturday 11th May 2013, 3.50pm (day 625)

Tent web spiders, 11/5/13

OK, look, I know that this picture will freak some of you out but like the picture of the cave spider I took last year, there is such beauty in this creature. Though I don’t necessarily want a couple of dozen of these things out on the verandah of my house – which my friend Fiona seems to have at the moment. And note that the smaller one visible above is not a baby – it’s the male of the species. These things spin huge communal webs, the size of which beggars belief. But, thank heavens, they are not poisonous.

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Arachnophobes: don’t scroll down

Saturday 9th June 2012, 11.55am (day 289)

Spider in shed, 9/6/12

You were warned. But I think this is a beautiful creature; currently living in the shed outside our front door. Rarely have I seen a bigger one, and certainly not in England. I won’t get a better photo today so I’m posting this now. (I haven’t been able to identify the species, not for certain: if anyone can help, leave a comment…)

Postscript: Thanks to Gary, a nice man at UKsafari.com, I’ve been told it’s a Cave Spider: see this page. Species either Meta menardi or Meta bourneti, but it’s impossible to tell which one exactly without capturing it and using a magnifying glass…which I am not going to do.

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