Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spiders



If you are an arachnophobe - that is, if you suffer from fear of spiders - DON'T SCROLL DOWN. There are photos that you might not like.

But then, I guess that the average gardener can't be too worried. You can't move a leaf without seeing them, especially at certain times of the year.

I have to say I love them. OK, place one of the really poisonous types on my hand and I might freeze. But for the danger, not because it's a spider. In our house, the yell,of "Call Mum - there's a spider in the bath" occurs frequently.

All right - you've been warned, and I hope there's enough text for the photos not to appear above the fold, so that anyone who hates them will have disappeared by now. But just in case we'll start with the least spidery.

What, I wondered when I was at home in England, were these little yellow balls sitting in my front garden hedge. To the naked eye they just looked like blobs. It wasn't difficult to guess though, and when I blew the photo up - baby spiders!





Whose babies, I wondered. I didn't notice any adult golden-black striped spiders in the garden, but I looked them up and Araneus diadematus seems to match. According to my book on British wildlife, it's supposed to be the most common British garden spider, so I'll go for that.

Not sure about this slightly out of focus but hugely pregnant lady. I know how she feels - I was once hugely pregnant in the June heat too. But haven't been able to identify her so far - ??



By far the most common type of spider in the garden seemed to be a small one with a green abdomen and dark legs. Possibly
Araniella cucurbitina ?? But the legs seemed darker. They never stuck around long enough for me to take a photo. How many spiders are there in Britain, I wonder? Or in Italy ? I rarely seem to see them here in the city. And in the whole world?

The last type I saw was, potentially, much more scary. This is what my mother used to call a cob - though what the difference between cobs and spiders is (if there is any), I don't know. And I've not found a really similar picture. But she just sat there at the base of the compost heap while I rushed in to get my camera. So I doubt if she had any really evil intentions ...









15 comments:

Turling said...

Well, I wasn't upset by spiders at the beginning of the post...

gittan said...

I'm not a fan of spiders but I'm not afraid as when I was young. You have a lot of babies there. My yougest doughter aged 18 stod by her open window last night garding so that no spiders where sneaking into her room. She's real scared but if she's hone alone she know how to handle them. Her best vapon is the vacuumcleaner "lol"

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Spiders used to bother me as a child, but they don't any more. They're just so valuable in the garden. I often find myself catching them in the house, and releasing them into the garden, before the cat, or one of the dogs hunts the poor things down. Your cob spider looks rather amiable, but we have tarantulas and black widows here, so I'm not easily frightened, even by the more menacing looking ones.

Jan said...

Spiders are good, although I don't like them exactly, just tolerate them because they eat other creepy crawlies.

Juliet said...

I love spiders too :)

I think your pregnant one might be Pisaura mirabilis?

Juliet said...

Really sorry Sue, only noticed after I hit publish that you ask people not to include web addresses in comments - my link just went to Natural History Museum site, but here's the comment without the link if you'd prefer -

I love spiders too :)

And I think your pregnant one might be Pisaura mirabilis.

Katarina said...

I know a lot of people are afraid of spiders, but Iäm not one of them. On the other hand, we have mostly friendly, unpoisonous spiders here - I think I would be scared if we had more poisonous species.

Sue Swift said...

Oh dear Turling - have I put you off for life :(

Gittan and CVF - odd how lots of kids seem to have an instinctive fear of spiders, isn't it? Even when parents are not. Is it the appearance or an inherited subconscious knowledge that they can be poisonous, I wonder.

CVF and Katarina - I'd draw the line at poisonous ones. If we had black widows or tarantulas around you wouldn't see me withing a mile of a spider ...

Juliet - No problem at all about useful links like that one. In fact, thank you for providing it. I just won't publish spammy ones.

Jan - yes. But I always feel so sorry for their prey. have to admit to rescuing thins sometimes ...

AaronVFT said...

Spiders scare me if they land on me, but other than that I'm not afraid of them.

Ivynettle said...

Brrr ... I don't like spiders, but I still couldn't resist reading your post. ;) Oddly enough, they bother me much less at work than they do at home. A spider in my room? Nightmare. Dozens of spiders in the shop and the greenhouse? Entirely normal, and as long as I know where they are, and can stay away from them, no problem (what does bother me are the zebra spiders - nasty jumping things, and you never know where they'll be next moment. Might be my head or something.)

We had baby spiders like yours in the tomato plants at work. They did freak me out a bit, but at the same time, it was sort of fun to poke the plant and watch them scatter, then draw back into a ball.

Kimberly said...

Sue, I should NOT have scrolled down, but you warned me!! I'm not "afraid" so to speak but those photos gave me the hee-bee-jee-bees. Goose bumps and all!!

freerangegirl said...

Love your pictures - my little girl guessed what they were straight away! We really enjoy following your blog and seeing the garden develop - thanks for sharing:)

Rowena... said...

As long as they stay out of my way they can hang around as much as they want. Now let me finish my curds and whey!

BalconyGardening said...

Oh my goodness! I blew up a photo of a spider on my blog, too, and I think it's an invasive species that's actually from Europe (the Zygiella x-notata). Have you ever seen one in your garden? (http://www.balconycontainergardening.com/2010/07/zygiella-x-notata-spider.html)

BalconyGardening said...

Oops! Unfortunately I can't put a link in, but I have a photo on my blog of what I think is a spider native to Europe that's become invasive in California, and I wondered if you had ever seen it in your garden. Not exactly sure what it is exactly, but I think it's a Zygiella x-notata. Spiders are super interesting, even if they are gross! A lot of them at once is a little disturbing.

Related Posts with Thumbnails