Friday, May 21, 2010

Spidey Sense

Spiders are not creatures I'd be inclined to keep as pets, but I do appreciate the work they do around the garden. In fact, it's forbidden in my house to kill a spider. The correct method of elimination is to make use of the Eviction Jar and relocate them outside somewhere. If you're brave, like my husband, you can pick them up with your fingers to deport them, but squashing is not allowed.

This odd-looking fellow turns up every year and hangs out in the same spot on my live oak tree. He makes his web high enough not to be a problem to anyone. Apparently, he's called a spiny orb-weaver and you can see that he's busy making a snack of a careless fly here.
The most numerous spiders in my garden are the orchard spiders. For years I thought they were brown widows, until I looked closer and saw that they are more green. The problem with these guys is that they tend to make their webs in pathways. So, every walk through the garden includes a Spider Stick to clear the way.
Does anyone else see a smiley face on this spider?

I have hundreds of other spiders, of course. Black widows, brown widows, little jumping spiders, huge wolf spiders, and those pale ones that hang from the oak trees, to name a few--all doing a great job of eating insects in my garden.

13 comments:

Floridagirl said...

Spiders are good to have around, aren't they? That spiny orbweaver has the most gorgeous color! Great shot capturing him with the fly. I did a post on spiders a couple months ago and spoke of their virtues. The very next day, my youngest son was bitten on the foot by a spider. His foot swelled to twice its size and took two weeks to heal. I felt strangely guilty for lauding spiders the day before. Like it was some kind of message or something.

Brandi said...

I do appreciate spiders but a part of me is still scared of them. I've stopped killing them on sight but they always make me jump - especially the time I was weeding among some pumpkin leaves and looked up to find a huge garden spider less than an inch from my face. I'm happy to report that I let him live. ;)

Vetsy said...

I agree those are pretty spiders!

and I'm with you on not killing spiders.. They are not dangerous, just scary looking!... Umg" unless of course they are a black widow!

I used to just get a long stick or use my broom to let them craw onto it and take it out side... But

I've learned that the jar is often a better idea for those of us who are not as brave for example...

I once used a broom that I thought was long enough to get me from my bedroom to the back door.. heck the broom was taller than I, so I thought I had it made!...

holding it out in front of me like a pole vaulter in the Olympic games, I took off running from my bedroom to the back door, But it was faster than I and got up the handle and up my arm just as I reached the door!

well"... PANIC and FEAR! took over and it didn't help that I stripped all of my clothing because I still broke a few things and sub-stained a few bruises in the process..

Since than I have used containers to take them outside and have also learned to calm down for my own safety!

I was a bigger danger to myself than that spider every was.... LoL!

Deborah said...

I do have to confess that as much as I appreciate and respect them, I can't actually touch them or even their webs. If one jumps on me, I freak out. I love them from a distance. They sometimes make me jump too.

I'm not sure what the lesson is on your son being bitten, Floridagirl. Maybe it's a yin and yang thing, that everything has two sides. Spiders are good and beneficial, but they bite and make our feet swell.

Love your broom story, Vetsy.

mya said...

That cute little spider does look like he is smiling. With what looks like a face, he looks like one of the Gumpy characters - do you remember him?
Can't remember the name of this particular spider off the top off my head - name starts with an A, and they build big beautiful webs, usually in the way of where you are walking! We have walked around ane carefully under these webs because they were just to pretty to knock down. Your pictures are wonderful.

Shyrlene said...

Deb - I think anyone that lives in a tropical climate is brave beyond belief! I always say I LOVE the fact that we have a deep hard frost that kills big ole nasty bugs - I'm a BIG chicken! I know it's the 'circle of life' and they eat nasty pests... I just don't want one crawling up my leg! :-o

[I just gave myself a shiver!]

Ami said...

Deborah: Gorgeous pictures of spiders! I also have a lot spiders in my garden, but everytime I try to take a picture, it came out with nothing! Seems the focus always went to something else around it. Wonder what is the trick to take a perfect picture of the spider and the web... Care to share? Thanks!

Andrea said...

Hahaha, when you see our spiders you will run fast because they are big and the webs are so sticky. It is good that their webs height from the ground is directly correlated to their size. But in places not often visited by humans like dense orchards, ah if you're not careful the webs will stick on you. I have some photos of them last year in the archive too.

debsgarden said...

I see the smiley face! i like spiders in my garden, and I have been known to relocate any creepy creature that wanders into my home. Still, I'm glad most of them are small and keep to themselves!

Prospero said...

Hi Deborah, I like your spider policy...

I frequently see spiny orb-weavers (I am in Bermuda)

mya said...

Deborah, the news does not sound too good your way with the oil. Have fingers crossed and prayers said for all effected.

Jan (VA Zone 7A) said...

Hi Deb, I like the looks of both of your spiders...how cool they are! So colorful! I don't much like to touch spiders, either...but I also try not to have harm brought to them. I've not seen any quite as pretty as yours!

Stone Art said...

Wow that spiny orb-weaver is amazing looking, never seen anything quite like it!