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Posts Tagged ‘photos of spiders’

Monkey face (also known as cat face or humpback; official name Araneus gemma), Jim found this large Orb Weaver spider in our yard in the Rio Grande Valley, October 19, photo © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.









oh humpback spider
so ugly you are pretty
now leave me alone








here kitty kitty
tabby or a calico?
what strange eyes you have








Em wrote this haiku:


monkey face spider
spooky creepy and crawly
a halloween fright













NOTE: A search on “monkey face spider” will also turn up this and this. However, I did validate that the spider Jim found in our yard is, in fact, a “monkey face” spider.

According to Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, the A. gemma is “sometimes called the ‘cat-face’, ‘monkey-face’ or ‘humpback’ spider since it has a pattern of dark markings and raised areas on its back that seem face-like. Females of this spider are generally rounded with angular ‘shoulders’ and can reach a size exceeding a quarter. They make webs in undisturbed corners, often near porch lights, and are often found in late August and September around the eaves of houses… A. gemma hides in dark corners at the edge of the web during the day. She remains in contact with the web via a ‘trap-line’ thread that signals when insects have been ensnared.”

Jim found this spider under a cropping of overgrown juniper bushes. It was a large spider but not nearly as large as the Orb Weaver pictured in recent post Reflections On My Love Of Fall.




-related to post: haiku (one-a-day)

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Look me in the eye, an iridescent-bellied lizard that Jim caught October 17, in the Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico, photo © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.




The days are beautiful in the Rio Grande Valley. The other morning we woke to a thick fog hovering just above the field. Sun rose, and the warmth slowly burned off the mist.

I wonder if we’d get sick of our favorites seasons if we could magically make them last twice as long as they do normally. If we collapsed summer and fall into a new season, Extra-long Fall, I’d be perfectly happy. Although, we’d miss out on swimming and eating popsicles in the scorching sun. And weekend getaways spent at 9,000 feet.

Eh, scratch that idea.

This is Jim’s favorite time of year. He’s been outdoors every day, raking and cleaning up the yard. He’s working on a project to take out overgrown juniper bushes, rotted railroad ties, and an old leaning fence from the back courtyard. He disappears for hours out there, calling me now and then to come look at the critters he finds.

There are Black Widows galore, although Jim usually leaves those alone. He caught one, a huge girl with a big red hourglass on her belly. The shots I snapped are obscured by the plastic tub we put her in. We’ll release her soon—it’s just a matter of finding a spot far enough away that she won’t be a menace. I know, she’s more afraid of us than we are of her, but she’s the biggest black widow I’ve seen and I don’t want our paths to cross ever again.

Speaking of big spiders, Jim also found a most extraordinary Orb Weaver. Its web filled the entire corner, floor to ceiling, of a shed that came with the place when we moved here. Motivated to put the rarely used space to use, Jim was clearing out a set of old screen doors when he stumbled upon what appeared to be a large walking mushroom.

He coaxed the spongy yellow-white mottled spider onto a walking stick and brought the whole contraption to the back porch for me to see. After I took a few shots, Jim carried the dear back to her home in the clean shed.


It’s a gentle time. Except for last Saturday, when a wicked wind whipped through the valley, turning the sky a gray-white and lashing sheets of rain and hail onto the world. We were drawn to the windows but at the same time fearful that a branch might break from a tree and in through the glass. The storm lasted about 20 minutes, then settled into a steady rain.

Today it’s about 72, on the way to a high of near 80 degrees. Trees are in different stages of becoming yellow, and the Virginia Creeper has suddenly bloomed a ruddy red.

At Sunflower Market, where I just went to restock the pantry, folks sat at tables and chairs set up in the parking lot and ate hot dogs and hamburgers bought off the grill for a dollar. I bought three hamburgers and brought them home with the groceries.

Something’s in the air. This is a fabulous time. We are inside the eye of change.




                      

fall morning (four), a misty morning looking out at the pond in our field in the Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico, photos © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.






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