Country Living Series

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Big honkin' spider

We have a big honkin' spider web on our front porch.



The web belongs to a big honkin' spider. You can gauge the size by comparing her to the yellow jacket she's caught.


Both my girls are terrified of spiders, but I find them grimly fascinating, especially how they wrap prey. This lady twirls the hapless victim with her front legs and guides the silk around it with her two back legs. The amount of silk coming out of her spinnerets is impressive.


Since her web is right in sight of the kitchen, we notice almost every time she catches something.



She'll wrap her catch and then carry it up into the eaves of the porch.



So... any of you arachnophiles (or arachnophobes) know the species?

25 comments:

  1. That is so fascinating! About 30 years ago I watched a special all about spiders (could have been National Geographic) and was amazed at their diversity and skills. Truly wonderful creatures. Great pictures! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Well when I lived in Moscow we had tons of them, some got huge! Have them in southern Idaho where I live now too. They do come in a variety of color and where I live now we have a lot of orange/tan colored ones, while in Moscow they were more the color you have there. We always just called them cat spiders, as did everyone else, I think their technical name is cat faced spider, and they come in many different colors and patterns. Regardless, they are a neat looking spider and very good at killing insects!

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  3. Hard to tell from the picture - and I'm no expert - but it looks like it might be an orb weaver.- on of the many varieties. They aren't poisonous to humans, they look terrifying, and they spin the most beautiful webs of all the spider world.

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  4. You are so lucky...dinner came to you. Do not, I repeat, do not field dress the spider after you harvest it. Quickly heat two tablespoons of olive oil and as it comes to temperature, rinse the spider under cold water and dust with salt and pepper and just a bit of flour then dip in hot sauce. Now, drop the booger into the olive oil and leave for about two seconds. Serve with cold beer or white wine. Enjoy.

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  5. Creepy, but amazing pictures! My best guess is some kind of Orb Weaving Spider.

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  6. You people are crazy! "Amazing" "Fasinating" (shudders) there is only one word I would call it around here "Dead!". lol

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  7. yep you have an orb weaver...I got some just like it too. here in the Mississippi boonies where I live, the spiders love to find windows and doorways, porch roofs etc.. and boy do they ever spin...sometimes I have had to destroy their webs but most of the time, like you, I just love to keep watch and see how big they grow and how big the web can get.

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  8. Cool pics, Patrice.

    We're pretty careful about spiders here. A dear neighbor was recently bitten by a hobo spider while driving his tractor, and wound up in the ER in very serious trouble. It nearly derailed his progress toward a liver transplant.

    Hobo spiders, like the brown recluse, are bad juju. They're also called funnel web spiders. They're very common here in the woods.

    And some of the 'garden spiders' here can deliver nasty bites. I got bitten a few years back while picking berries, and it took a long time to finally get it cleared up.

    I usually keep a daddy longlegs in my bathroom...almost like a pet..lol...because it keeps the mosquitoes in check. When it's time to clean or a second one shows up I relocate them outdoors so I don't get a hatching of babies.

    A. McSp

    A. McSp

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    Replies
    1. Hi A. McSP,

      Could you tell me what bit you and what exactly happened to you? How long did it take to heal? I got spider bit this summer, also while picking berries, and still have a large swollen lymph node over a month later. The bite itself healed quickly, but not the lymph. I had a fever and very achy muscles for two days from the envenomnization. I'm very curious. Thanks,

      Anonymous

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  9. Eww, I'm with your daughters, although they are facisnating. You should call her Charlotte! After it gets dark, go outside, put a flashlight to the middle of your forehead and see if you can spot the eyes. We used to go spider hunting as Girl Scout leaders using this method. Very impressive!
    Kelly in K'ville,NC

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  10. Don't know what kind of spider it is, besides a BIG one, but I have to admit it's a pretty one. It must be easier to think so when it's being viewed via my monitor. ;) The web, though, is particularly lovely and makes me think I'd start calling her Charlotte, haha!

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  11. I have a truce with spiders at my place. If they stay away from where I wander, they can live in peace. If not, they don't last until sundown.

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  12. Looks just like Shelob...

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  13. What a gorgeous spider. I certainly wouldn't want it on me, but, from a distance, it is lovely.

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  14. I'm on the same plane with Jess. stay out of my way and and live another day. we have many orb weavers that span between our trees out back, or eave ,or porch etc..............God truly makes facinating creatures.they are very advantageous but i don't want them on me. been bit by a wolf spider up my side while doing a native event adn sleeping on the ground. I was sick for over a week and the broken blood vessels in my skin took almost a year to go away.

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  15. That is an Orb Weaver, one of the best types of spiders to have around! You can go to www.whatsthatbug.com to identify it more specifically.

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  16. We had them all over in the rafters of the houses and garages in the summer in Cut Bank, Montana when I was a kid in the 70's. We called them Puffer Spiders. They are basically barn spiders. They do bite. Not poisonous, but it will not be painless. They would get so big, a well placed BB from a Daisy Red Rider from 15 feet would send splatter for quite a ways. Toss them into a jar with another species of spider, they will fight. For fun, toss one Puffer into the web of another Puffer, then it's on like Donkey Kong. Or, take about a four foot straight stick, get one on one end and another on the opposite end. Bounce them until they web down a bit and you can have a race to see which one gets to the ground first. Roll the stick so the web rolls up. They get a great work out and your sister freaks out. Don't let them climb back up the web and start to run up the stick towards your hand or the game is over.

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  17. We live out in the country in Florida. Inside, we have the occasional giant crab spider. They are wonderful. No webs. Just giant bug killing machines.

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  18. We live out in the country in Florida. Inside, we have the occasional giant crab spider. They are wonderful. No webs. Just giant bug killing machines.

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  19. Oh wow, what a beautiful spider! I'd love to have a few of those by my front window - to watch through the window, and to eat all those pesky yellow jackets that keep trying to nest by our front door. :)

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  20. Spiders didn't always terrify me. Used to be I didn't give them much worry. I profess to even admiring the artistic engineering in the layout of a finely crafted web. Then one day walking between 2 rows of corn performing my first paid job, de-tasseling corn for Pioneer Seed Corp., I walked head long into one of those big beautiful webs with a big honking spider sitting smack in the middle of it. I have had spiders crawling all over me ever since...

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  21. Ohhh YUK!!! I am terrified of those things. I've always called them a catface. Their back looks like it's sporting a set of cat's ears.

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  22. Oh. My. Lord....

    I'd have no hesitation in vaporizing something that big with my 12 gauge.


    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

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  23. That is 'a pretty good size web' I'm from Hawaii, if you talk to anyone 'upcountry/not so much in the City' in the Islands they'll tell you about the Cane Spiders! The average size with legs fully extended = about the size of an average Dinner Plate! I have walked into a darkened room where a door was left open, and I looked up and thought 'I don't remember there being a Wall Clock in here'?

    When it rains real heavy the ground snails come out, they look just like the common garden variety brown crawlers, but their the size of = Tennis-to-Baseball size! When you step on them they sound like you've stepped on a bag of potato chips!

    Finally the Centipedes look just like the ones on the Mainland, 'leg length-proportional-to-body' they average about 12 inches, and can squirm over the ground faster than a 'quick walk' you gotta' Watch Out for them!

    Aloha! & GOD Bless!

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  24. Yup, we've got those barn spiders too. I love watching them catch bugs and wrap em up ... hmmm they must be storing food away too. :)

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