Our spider population took a dramatic jump overnight. Alex took this picture of a female grass spider outside the door this morning.
The spider was perched on a shirt one of the kids left draped over the back of the garden bench and is a big girl. With her legs stretched out, she covers my palm and then some. I've seen her several times in the garden this week, toting the enormous egg sac that finally hatched and covered her abdomen in a wiggly mass of offspring.
Grass spiders don't build webs. They hunt on the ground. But garden spiders do. Alex took this picture of one yesterday.
I'd suggest zooming on both pictures for more detail, unless you're an arachnaphobe, in which case you can just piss on yourself instead.
Alex took these shots with her new Kodak digital camera. I'm impressed with both pictures, especially the one of the grass spider. She shot it on high resolution, so I had to reduce the image to get it on the blog, but even with the loss in resolution, it's still nice. The girl has a good eye and has inherited her mother's odd fascination with macro-photography.
And spiders are good subjects.
We have a bumper crop of spiders this year, which is find from a pest control standpoint, but annoying if you do a lot of gardening. I can't count the number of times I've been pulling weeds or planting something and felt the tickle of a spider crawling on my head or the nape of my neck. The spiders themselves aren't a problem; I'm not afraid of them. But it's no fun getting web out of your hair.
Update: So Alex managed another spider shot this afternoon, this one even more interesting than the other two. It's a linx spider. Being camoflauged against the green leaf, she was able to snag this honeybee.
Again, if you enlarge it you can see more detail.
Update II: Ksquest informed me I was incorrect when I originally identified the spider at left as a "link" spider. It is a linx spider. She also provides a link in my comment section to some awesome photos. Ksquest also has a nice blog. Check it out!
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