July 09, 2002

A Few of My

A Few of My Favorite Things

A handful of spiders! They are my friends and I will love them and pet them and they will like me because I am their friend, George.

Truth of the matter: these beautiful arachnids were (sort of) rescued from becoming a meal. This is not entirely true, since each one of these sedated spiders has a fertilized 'organpipe mud dauber' egg growing inside it. They are out of their muddy casket, but they are still somebody's supper.

Cleaning up in the shed this morning, the solitary black wasp would come to the opening of the tubular column with an assortment of spiders. What a wonderful food: slow, softbodied, widely available in the places these wasps build their spider-dungeons: sheds, barns, back porches. A quick sting sedates the spider. They were moving ever so slightly when I my son (no stranger to dad's naturophilic weirdness) was recruited to offer his palm for this picture. Most of the spiders pictured here will become much larger, so they serve as food only for a short while when they are not too heavy a load or too large a deposit for the organ-pipes.

Could you hold your hand still, covered in spiders? What a good, obedient boy I have! This afternoon, maybe he can help me with my poisonous snake project, and tomorrow the bats, and ...

Posted by fred1st at July 9, 2002 11:31 AM
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