Friday, October 06, 2006

Meet Octavia



I got such an awesome assignment earlier this week - to do a piece on the abundance of golden silk spiders in our area.

They are impressive creatures; the females grow to about 4 inches in length and build elaborate webs that span three to six feet across.

So was it really wrong for me to bring back a souvenier from the garden where I photographed the spider? I coudn't resist. I brought Octavia home in an empty plastic sack and let her loose that night in the orchid greenhouse off our master bedroom. By yesterday she'd tucked herself away in a corner in a temporary web. This morning I found her in a permanent one stretched between the wires that hold up the shelves in our greenhouse.

If you look very carefully at the top picture, you can see her, and note her size in relation to the pot. Isnt' she lovely? Of course, I figured you might want a close-up, so here's one at the right. (Enlarge the photos for a better look.)

I think we need more of these awesome arachnids. Golden silk spiders tend to cluster in groups. I figure our small greenhouse can handle two or three more. And the big greenhouse out front could handle about ten. So this weekend we're going spider hunting. Hopefully we can find a few males so they'll breed and produce little ones.

How cool would that be. If you're afraid of spiders, it's probably not cool at all. But to me, it is.

15 comments:

CJ said...

Isn't Bane afraid of spiders? Is this why you posted this?

Morgan said...

Geesh, CJ. Give me more credit than that. I just like spiders.

Roland said...

If Band-ade is afraid of spiders, that would definitely send him running!

But, although I know there is glory in all of God's creation, I wouldn't raise a spider as a pet.
I might whack in repeatedly with a newspaper. Or in the case of the spider in question, a baseball bat.

Do those things eat children?
I mean, a web that is 4-6 feet across does seem to be the right size...

Roland said...

If Band-ade is afraid of spiders, that would definitely send him running!

But, although I know there is glory in all of God's creation, I wouldn't raise a spider as a pet.
I might whack in repeatedly with a newspaper. Or in the case of the spider in question, a baseball bat.

Do those things eat children?
I mean, a web that is 4-6 feet across does seem to be the right size...

Roland said...

Cruddy dial-up caused me to post twice. Sorry.

Morgan said...

Ha! It's alright. Dial-up sucks. My laptop is wireless, my work computer is broadband and my favorite home PC is dial-up. Mixed bag.
I know it's crazy, but I love this spider so much. She couldn't eat a kid, but she can eat frogs, lizards and small birds.
Yum.

Roland said...

You said, "Yum."
Do you eat frogs, lizards and small birds?
Or do you just suck the blood out of them?
Yech!

Morgan said...

I just drain them, Roland, and refill the empty husks with air. They make great balloons.

Suspect said...

Are those things poisonous? Somehow, I always start imagining them inside my clothes ... *ugh*

I'm not afraid of spiders, but they're icky, yucky, disgusting things.

Just me, though. I can imagine many people liking them.

Morgan said...

Suspect, they are venomous; all spiders are. But if a Golden silk spider bites you - and they're pretty docile so it would take enormous provocation - the result would be pain and redness similar to a mild bee sting.
I'm not chancing it, though. I've seen Octavia feed and I wouldn't want her to mistake my finger for a giant grasshopper!

Erik said...

I figured you might want a close-up

well how thoughtful of you! (shudder)

Erik said...

Morgan

Since you quite obviously have a very green thumb, I was wondering if you could enlighten us on what is needed for a good greenhouse. From the pics I think I can figure out the materials you used (tho I dont know what the "glass" is called)

What all is needed in there? What temp do you keep it at, if you heat it at all? Humidity? etc.

Erik said...

When I say heat I guess I am thinking of the cold nights up here in the mountains and I am thinking of possible moving to the northwest where it will be temperate but cooler overall with much less sun than Colorado (but isnt that everywhere?)

thimscool said...

The Egyptians use Cobras to gaurd their facilities... you use spiders to guard yours... whacha growin?

Morgan said...

Thimscool...sssshhhhh. It's purely for my glaucoma.