Pretty Spiders

Crab Spider on Rosa woodsii_EmeraldValley-COLAH_3780If you’ve read my blog for very long, you might have gathered that I’m not exactly wild about spiders.

Realizing that this is a significant flaw in someone who loves nature and gardening, and who spends a lot of time outdoors, I’ve been attempting to overcome my aversion. I am making an effort to educate myself about arachnids. I photograph spiders wherever I see them. I’ve even held “Rosie,” the Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula at the Butterfly Pavilion in Broomfield (see proof).

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Bugwatching!

Cuckoo WaspIt’s 4:30, still dark, and the alarm clock rouses me from a deep sleep. Wha…?? Oh, right, I’m going birding. There’s lots of talk about the “early bird” for a good reason. Birds get up early. Even as I’m fumbling around trying to find some jeans and a t-shirt, I can hear a robin singing outside my bedroom window.

Last week, I went on a field trip that didn’t start until 9 am. Nine! No setting the alarm clock. No downing cup after cup of caffeine (and then realizing all the bushes are much too small to hide behind). I could have a leisurely breakfast and drive off in the daylight—and we still saw plenty of wildlife. How did we manage to see so much so late in the day? Easy. We were bugwatching.

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Daddy Longlegs

Daddy Long Legs @CSU LAH 077“Eeek! It’s a spider!”
“No, that’s just a Daddy Longlegs. It won’t hurt you.”
“Are you sure? I heard that they’re really venomous, but that their fangs are too small to bite me. Is that true?”

Everyone knows what a Daddy Longlegs is, or thinks they do. In fact, there are two different groups of animals with the name Daddy Longlegs, both Arachnids, but in different orders. (Scorpions are in yet another order of Arachnid.)

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