Itsy Bitsy Spider

The birds aren’t the only ones laying eggs this time of year. I happened upon a newly hatched ‘family’ of spiders today.  I put family in quotes, because honestly there were hundreds of them. They look big in the pictures, but they are as small as a pin head.

I was clearing dried leaves around the orange tree, tossing them into the compost bin. As I reached for a dried branch, I saw what looked like tiny flowers caught in a web. The ‘flowers’ however, were moving in different directions. Good thing I withdrew my gloved hand when I did. Our neighbors would have heard me scream like a B movie actress in a horror film.

ferns with spider web

Ferns under the orange tree

Ferns...at little closer

Ferns…at little closer

Ferns...closer still

Ferns…closer still

I grabbed the camera and took several shots.  Video would have been better, but I’m still not well versed with this camera.baby spiders on fern 4-18-2013 12-47-11 PM

spiders up close 4-18-2013 12-46-40 PM

Spiders up close: look, Ma, no hands!

Lindy came over to investigate.  It’s not every day she finds me sitting in the ferns.  Once I  turned the camera in her direction, she went all feline on me and gave me the cold shoulder.

Lindy near the ferns 4-18-2013 12-47-58 PM

Lindy Lu

I have an interesting relationship with spiders.  Indoors, they creep me out.  I humanely remove them with my spider-catcher, and set them loose in the garden.  Outside, unless they’re bigger than a quarter, I’m usually okay with them.  When startled, however, I freak out.  It’s the strangest thing.

How do you feel about spiders?  Are you indifferent?  Did you pass out at the first photo?  Or are you as fascinated with nature as I am?  Maybe all three.

42 thoughts on “Itsy Bitsy Spider

  1. I am the same however for a different reason my brothers totally freaked me out as an 8 year by dumping a jar of spiders down my back and locking me in the dark barn. I was afraid of the dark and having things crawling on you tends to give you the hebe-gebes. I however for the sake of my kids over come the need to scream when I see them and remove them to outside as quickly as possible. we had these little ones last year and turns out they were baby garden spiders that took up homes in hubbies roses,. No aphids and such were safe 🙂 I love them just fine outside please!

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    • Oh what a traumatic experience for you. That’s terrible! What an awful thing for anyone to do to a child. Did you have nightmares for years?

      Good for you for overcoming that fear enough to face it and put them outside.

      They are great for the garden! The spiders will eat the aphids, and hummingbirds also eat the spiders and use the silk for nests, so it’s all synchronistic.

      Thank you for ‘braving’ this post. You’re the best.

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  2. I think this is the first post that I CAN NOT click ‘Like’ but I gave you two stars because your photo’s were so darn close up I thought you must be some crazy science girl. You got 2 more stars because your post made me giggle (B movie actress..hehe). I will much rather have a cute little mouse living in my garden, and all his friends before a spider colony. I will NEVER garden without gloves again…Geez Louise, I would have screamed my lungs out. I fully expect them to be on their merry way before we lay about the lawn…..shiver…..that’s gross! Finally, Lindy got points for being adorable, one more star 😀 xo, but Boomdee no ‘Like’ spiders

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    • Snakes would make me very nervous, too. I’m with you on the web thing. I don’t like that feeling at all, and of course imagine the spider has dropped down my shirt.

      When my boys were young, they would often receive notices from school of lice exposure. They never actually contracted it, but with every notice, I would suddenly start scratching my scalp. So silly.

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  3. Great discovery – nature in all its glory right in your backyard! And a lovely cat to share it all with! I also rescue spiders that find their way inside – and relocate them to the backyard. Don’t mind them at all in the garden – unless I accidentally walk into a web! But even a hint that a mouse or a rat are in the vicinity and I’m doing your B movie actress scream (very funny description, BTW!!). Great close-up photos!

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    • Thank you!

      Many years ago I was preparing a bed and noticed early on what’s known as a wolf spider in a web up above. I told myself “make a mental note” and continued about my business.

      Of course, I forgot, stood straight up into the web and screamed a blue streak while jumping up and down. So much for composure.

      Thanks for rescuing your spiders as well. You’re a kindred spirit to be sure.

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  4. I know in my heart that spiders have a place in nature. But I will never like them. I’m tolerant of grand daddy long legs but the rest I want a good distance away. My daughter is very allergic to spider bites. Her arm spelled to twice it’s size, so I want those pesky creatures elsewhere. Snakes, they would have me airborn. You were so brave to take pictures, and those were EXCELLENT pictures.

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    • I’m so sorry to hear your daughter is allergic to spider bites. That sounds miserable. I can appreciate wanting to keep a safe distance. We don’t have garden snakes here (I do remember them in Canada) but during the hotter months, I’m occasionally startled by a lizard. The neighbors cat was toying with one last week, so I moved it to the underside of the deck.

      Thanks for your nice word on the picture. I went out to check on them today and they’re gone…maybe one or two stragglers!

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      • I need to get my camera looked at. Have been using my cell camera. Lizards don’t bother me. Used to play with them in Georgia. Snakes can have any territory they want. and spiders, well that’s what the vacuum is for. I swear I have never seen a colony like you photographed. That’s prize winning quality. Thanks for reading.

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        • Given how quickly they all disappeared, I realize how lucky I was to come upon them. The tree is in a far corner of the garden and as you can see from the wider shot, not that easily detected.

          Thanks for your kindnesses, Marlene. You always make my day.

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  5. Yes, well you remember when Charlotte had babies before she died. She had hundreds of them! (Charlotte’s Web). How come all of your posts remind me of beloved childhood books and tv specials? 🙂

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  6. Hi this spiders were in my bedroom latched on to the web just wondering what they are called please as you have said no names thanks

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  7. Pingback: Blogging 101: Weird Image Wednesday | Gardening Nirvana

  8. What wonderful shots Alys! When we moved to this house it had been empty for some time and i had to dispatch hundreds of spiders, which kind of neutralised any fears I might have had before!

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  9. What a remarkable set of photos! The close-up of the babies was especially fascinating. Isn’t it incredible that something so tiny and fragile could survive out in the world? I suppose other creatures must think that of *us* as well. I also got a kick out of Lindy Lu coming to check on you, because “it’s not every day I sit on ferns.” HA HA! I’d say your unusual perch was worth it for this post, dear Alys.

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