Monday, October 23, 2006

Insects & Arachnids

There's no story line here -- simply a collection of pictures of challenging subjects! My little digital box camera is not really up to macro photography, but I keep trying! Besides, insects, spiders and other creepy crawlies make fascinating photos. Even their homes are interesting -- take a look at the ant lion holes above. Surely you recall that as a kid you carefully pushed a little sand or gravel into those little holes to watch the ant lion kick up a fuss to capture whatever poor critter had fallen into his trap.

I hadn't seen one of these creatures all summer, but the other day this katydid flew by and landed in the grass. The only reason you knows it is not a leaf is that it landed on the wrong type of plant.

I don't know this fellow at all, but he is a pretty light green and has a wonderful criss-cross pattern on his folded up wings.

This remarkable spider web appeared in my kitchen recently. In between the two hanging baskets is this third basket, made by a small spider, which reflects the form of the two manmades. Effective, too -- there were skeletons of small insects in the bottom! Sorry I couldn't get a more definitive picture, but this was truly a tough call.
This little hunting spider was a lot easier to capture -- he was right there on the garage wall, holding his own captive for anyone to see. Not a web builder, he was a lot smaller than...
this fine tarantula that my neighbor alerted me to this afternoon. Kind of late in the season for a male to go looking for his lady love! Husband & I made the trip back and forth through the mountains on the White Spar when we first moved to these parts. About late monsoon time, many male tarantulas would emerge from their burrows and strut down the highway, looking for potential mates. One day we saw a parked car along the highway, with father and son looking at a frightened tarantula. "He's in Attack Mode!" the man warned his lad. Poor misunderstood spider! Poor foolish Flatlander!


Note: One of my regular readers, k at ksquest, is raising a brood of io moth caterpillars. You should go take a look and read about her many adventures with such critters. Be sure to page down a couple of posts. The greatest picture is of caterpillars, head-to-tail around a bottle of rubbing alcohol!

10 comments:

angie said...

Now I'm curious. I really want to know what the mystery insect is - the wings were so pretty!

As for the spiders...well, lets just say that I appreciate them a lot more OUTSIDE than in my house. Tarantulas are awesome critters, but I still don't want one in my living room. And yes, I do feel bad for the ones who get spotted by the "turist" who is convinced the spider's gonna git 'im!

Granny J said...

It's a continual battle to keep the spiders outdoors in their place especially when you have high ceilings. As for that fellow with the little basket web, I was too fascinated by it to just dust it away -- at least until I got pictures!

pb said...

Perhaps you will understand, then, when I say that our garden spider is gone. She had spun her web across a side window and we watched her for weeks.

Her perfect, lovely web is still there, so I guess she wasn't attacked. But she's gone.

How long do spiders live? I'm thinking some sort of Charlotte's Web, semi-sad, semi-happy ending.

Granny J said...

A good question, pb -- I have no idea what the life span of a spider is. I do know that tarantulas live quite long lives -- a friend has an exotic that she has had for several years.

Steve G said...

My wife hates spiders. I'm usually called to save her.

Granny J said...

I find various critters too darned interesting to hate them! Just this morning I noticed a new group of caterpillars on that difficult-
to-manage nasturtium & now I'm wondering just what kind of butterfly or moth they will become -- if they make it at all -- we've already had one frost up here.

k said...

What fabulous pix! I've been coming back and looking at them and suddenly discovered your note about my little io's. Well blow me down. Thanks!

Granny J said...

Well, k, I'm counting on you to keep us all up to date on your new babes! We had one of the big ones -- a luna, I think, on our screen door when we lived on the other side of the mountains.

Lane said...

AAGGHH! My puter quit displaying your photos after the leaf changing blog (going backward in date) so I didn't get the photos of these critters. I'm sure they were great!

Cindy said...

Hi. That unidentified insect in the third picture is a tree cricket.

 
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