Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jumping Spider



We had a long weekend in Canada. It started raining on Thursday last week and hasn't stopped yet. Well, actually, the sun came out yesterday morning for about 5 minutes and again in the late afternoon for a short time, but in between we had thunder and lightening and all manner of signs of the apocalypse.

I have just finished a 7 day stretch of work and am looking forward to this week off. Of course I have a billion things to get done that I haven't been able to do because of time and tiredness. And I want to get back on the bike as it's been over a week since the bike tour and I'm starting to get antsy.

Speaking of ants....After supper last night the Wookie and I sat outside for an hour during one of the breaks in the weather. We were accompanied by a few little ants and would have to brush them off from time to time. There were also a few aphids, not really doing anything at all, and a whole slew of flying beetles and moths around the patio.

At one point we discovered a little jumping spider on the table between the two chairs we were occupying. So we followed its progress from one end to the other as it jumped from slat to slat. These are tiny spiders no bigger than a centimetre (or less than half an inch) and this one was no bigger than a quarter of an inch long. The Wookie tried to capture an ant to feed it but was unsuccessful. I, on the other hand, put an aphid in front of it. Success! It was quite amusing, really, to watch this little spider stalk the even littler aphid, then quickly jump on it and devour it. Sounds pretty sadistic, I know, but actually aphids are simply put on this earth to annoy rose gardeners and feed other insects and spiders.

I tried another tactic with the spider as well. I got an aphid to crawl on my fingernail and then I offered it to the spider. Again, success. It quickly jumped on my fingernail, grabbed the aphid and jumped off again. Of course, the Wookie and I were laughing like idiots about this whole series of events. We were both quite amazed and amused. Turns out the spider was probably famished as jumping spiders normally hide away when it rains (I mentioned the DAYS of rain we've had) and come out when it's sunny or during the day.

I hand fed a jumping spider! I know I have probably lost a few of you because of the "ick" factor of spiders. And some of you who stayed with me are still going "ick". I'm not a big fan of spiders. I certainly appreciate what they do but generally speaking the bigger and hairier they are, the less I want to look at them. I like to look at the littler ones, like the jumping spiders or the crab spiders.

It really wasn't an extraordinary feat of bravery to hand feed this tiny one. But it sure was fun! I'll continue to do it knowing that I can. And I got a blog post out of it.

S.

5 comments:

LISA EMRICH said...

"Hand fed a jumping spider."

Yes, I do believe that not many folks (at all) could claim that experience. I don't really like spiders much if they are in close proximity. But watching one stalk an aphid sound amusing.

Denver Refashionista said...

Wow, that's cool that you fed the jumping spider by hand.

Diane J Standiford said...

I watched a huge, long legged spider on a brick wall today and thought of you. Never saw one quite like it before. It was basking in Seattle's rare 88' sun.

BRAINCHEESE said...

Aphids are only put on this earth to annoy rose gardeners, huh? Sounds like the start of an interesting resume'! And your resume' sounds quite interesting as well...Experience: Hand feeding spiders.

Linda D. in Seattle

Blinders Off said...

IMO, that was brave, I could never do it.