Humbled By a Spider

This morning, after a marathon weeding and grass-clipping along the fence near our vegetable garden, I snipped off two branches of grape leaves, so I could perhaps try a new recipe. I left them for a few minutes inside in the workroom, and when I came back later to get them, I picked them up, and noticed a huge H-U-G-E spider moving on the leaf. I immediately screamed and dropped the branches on the floor!

Then I got up my nerve, picked up the branches, praying that I could get them outside without the spider dropping off in the workroom. I tossed the branch on the pile of weeds/grass in the wheel barrow and ran inside to grab my camera. No one would believe how icky and gross this spider was, I needed photos! I mean this spider was like 2-3 inches!

I took lots of photos, at every angle. (Note: If you have a fear of spiders, don’t read any further, as I’m including detailed photos that might be troubling to someone with arachnophobia.)

After I was done, I figured I should put her somewhere safe in the yard so she could care for her babies in peace. I carried the branch over to the back side of our fence and kind of flung her and the branches over. I didn’t mean to be so careless, it just kind of happened.

When I got inside, I downloaded the photos and looked at each one, zooming in to see her close up. At first, I was freaked out by the details. Wow, she was furry and all those eyes! Eeek!

(Click on each photo to see more details)
spider mama with egg sac

Then I started to really see her differently. Maybe it’s just me, and an overactive imagination, but her eyes looked afraid and she was grasping onto her babies so tightly. It is funny how she looked so intimidating from afar, but in reality, I think she was more freaked out by me than I should be of her.

(Click on each photo to see more details)
spider mama with egg sac

I do still feel terrible for callously flinging her over the fence. I later walked to where the grape branches were, to find her, but couldn’t. Hopefully she found her way to a safe place.

I know it might sound corny & silly to some people, to worry about an insignificant spider, but it really taught me a lesson about respect for nature.

I googled her description, and I think she is a common “Nursery Web Spider” – similar to a wolf spider, but she carries her baby sac by her fangs, while the wolf spider carries the sac on the “other end” by the butt. I could only see three sets of eyes, but she’s supposed to have 4 sets of eight.

Although I admit I got full body-chills numerous times while looking at spider photos & videos, especially this one, I found a new respect for them, and how hard they work. Pretty cool!

(Click on each photo to see more details)
spider mama with egg sac

Links:

http://www.commonpests.com/nursery-web-spider
http://jonnytyson.hubpages.com/hub/SPIDERS-The-Nursery-Web-Spider

2 thoughts on “Humbled By a Spider”

  1. Creeeeepy! Spiders are fascinating…I won’t kill them (except for Daddy Longlegs, which I guess aren’t actually true spiders but ARE the grossest thing in the world) because as a small kid, we had a book called “Be Nice to Spiders,” and I figure they catch all the biting bugs for me. Right now we have a huge one who’s taken up residence on our deck and builds a massive web that crosses the slider every night. Seems to catch mostly moths.

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