Tag Archives: spiders

Odometers, unpaved roads, and tire wear

Her eight sensors strategically plugged into the web, Ms. Spider awaits the arrival of dinner.Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me. I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.” Will Rogers said that, and I agree. I have invested a considerable portion of my travels searching out unpaved roads. Or at least roads less traveled.
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A walk in the woods

A funnel-weaving spiderRain, glorious rain … almost the words and tune of a song I cannot quite name or sing, but last night! The music all was outside. Giant kettle drums, flashing strobes – I loved it. This morning, the rain gauge registered an inch and-a-half. We needed it, and more.

A few evenings ago, I slowly poked along the road next to the near-dry stream bed, collecting the webs of funnel spiders with my camera – intriguing creations designed to direct an unsuspecting dinner guest down the inviting hole to the waiting host. I found a lone yellow puff of a caterpillar, likely preparing to weave a home for the winter.

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A cacophony of Spring

Canada Geese paddle among the rockI, and my faithful companion Grady the Golden, wander along our favorite stream, among the vestiges of the Spring Transition.

Water gurgles and splashes over stones and boulders into a pool where a pair of Mallards paddle lazily. In a few weeks, they will be leading a brood of youngsters.

… an owl hoo-hoo-hoooos. I flatter myself to think he’s laughing at me …

Around another curve, a sextet of Canada geese hurry away. They are shy, sort of, like a group of prima donnas that want to be seen, but not looked at – and certainly not photographed.

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“Walk into my parlor”

Ms. Cantrap repairs damage caused by a clumsy photographer.(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 9/27/2013)

“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly; Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy.” (from The Spider and the Fly, by Mary Howitt, 1799-1888)

This has been a bumper-year for spiders. In one corner of the lanai, there is a woven silken bug trap overseen by three very different breeds of tiny arachnids. In another place, suspended among some grass blades, a bowl web has been formed, about six inches deep, with a vase-like narrowed neck and round, closed-in, bottom.

The tiny, and sometimes not so tiny, creatures have always held me enthralled – how they can discover just the place to anchor their trap, and measure so perfectly the spacing between web strands, is the stuff, to humans, of engineering degrees, yet these little creatures just go out and do it. Continue reading

A walk in the woods

Grady the golden retriever looks down a forest trail.Rain had fallen in the overnight, and the piece of low-lying forest through which I wandered was mostly wetland, at the edge of a cattail-filled meadow. Beneath my hiking shoes the path was cushioned – not soggy, but like a carpet with a nice sponge under it. Ahead of me – he’s always ahead of me – Grady the Golden Retriever kept looking back to be sure I was following. If I stop, he’ll come back to me. If I reverse direction, he’ll come jogging past to take the lead on the new course.

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