Last year I blogged about my liking for spiders, as long as they stay outside in the garden. Crazy Mumma recently blogged about how she hates finding Huntsman spiders in her house and I don’t like this so much either, but I thought I was a lot calmer about it now than I was as a kid. This was because I usually only ever find Daddy long-legs (Pholcus phalangioides) or black house spiders (Badumna insignis) inside. They’re not big or scary.
After feeling very smug about how much I liked spiders, recent visits from huntsman spiders inside my house have brought my arachnophobia out of hibernation. A couple of weeks ago a huntsman popped out near ground level and freaked me a bit. Ayesha the cat, on the other hand, was very interested in it. I got out the broom and calmly took the spider outside, until it started walking back up the broom handle and I had to throw the broom the rest of the way into the garden. A few days later a huntsman (probably the same one) was on the lintel of the kitchen doorway – I freaked out. I tried to get it to run onto the broom so it could go for another trip outside. It wasn’t obliging, and just floated to the ground on a thread of silk. Then it ran in my direction. Luckily for both of us it veered off towards a cupboard and climbed in a crack under the door. I opened the cupboard but it knew to hide. The next one was on the front porch light switch and had me running outside and having to psych myself up to go back through the front door (and this was at 11 at night). I really don’t like huntsman spiders in my house!
Back to those not so scary spiders. Last year a Garden Orb Weaving spider built a web every night between the tree and the car port right in the space where we walked, but we learnt to walk a different path until she left. In December another Garden Orb Weaver built a web every night for a week or so on the front porch. I disturbed her over a number of nights trying to get a good photo and she didn’t seem to mind the blinding flash. I’d hoped she would stay for longer, but perhaps she became someone’s dinner.
The complexity of an orb weaving spider’s web astounds me and the fact that they do it again every night amazes me even more. Although I guess it’s similar to the complexity of what we’ll do for dinner (although often we get someone else to do it for us).
Last month I found a tiny Jumping spider (Opisthoncus polyphemus) on one of my succulents. As I was taking pics the camera battery ran out, so I didn’t get such a good likeness. She had the most amazing patterns on her thorax. Jumping spiders have very good vision because they hunt during the day and she kept hiding whenever the camera got close. I looked for her when the camera batteries recharged, but only found an even smaller spider that was even harder to photograph (oh, for an SLR).