Spider Tales — Part Two

The Mother of All “Oh.My.Goodness.” Spiders

So.  I had an hour to kill while the car dealer did his thing.  I’d seen a couple of yellow butterflies fluttering above the overgrown area just beyond the parking lot. I headed that way, camera in hand.
The butterflies were gone when I got there.

Not to worry, I was sure there were plenty of other things to train my lens on.  I was right, but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see.

Discovered a Spit Bug's Lair. I've just found out that there's more to this bug than the Spit!

I noticed a rolled up leaf with some webbing. Hmm. Somebody must be in there.

Time for closer inspection.

Oh wow. It has legs, but I've never seen anything walking around with a bumpy rear like that!

The side view didn't yield much information. Another leg ...

I saw another leg poking out as I approached the front of the Leaf House.

Resting with a leg out. By now, I'd decided these were spider parts.

Guess I got too close. A leg shot out at me!

And the legs went back in. Whew! That was a close one!

A (blurry) face! Cute. Love the mustache!

I returned to the rear and got a better shot. Still curious about that bumpy back side!

My work done there, I turned my attention to a nearby flower.

Buds. What still hasn't bloomed?

THEN I saw her.

At over 2" long, The BIGGEST SPIDER I'VE EVER SEEN IN THE WILD. In the grass. IN my hometown!

And I noticed movement on her lumpy part.  BABIES!  A plethora of BABIES were crawling around on their Mama.  BABIES who would GROW UP!  In the grass!  IN my hometown!!!
A passing dragonfly (perhaps a damsel, I don’t know.) caught my attention, and I turned to fire off a few shots at it.
When I turned back, she was GONE!

Found her! Hiding under leaves that frame her quite nicely

I really hadn't been sure about the babies, but this shot proves that's what they are.

I turned away once more and she was GONE.
I took my sandal-shod feet to a spot about a yard away to continue my photo shoot.
I never did get to shoot the butterflies.  They reappeared as I was getting in my car to leave.  And I saw one at each of the 3 traffic lights on the way home. :~p
And the Mama Arachnid?  Wolf Spider.  She doesn’t look quite like the one that’s most prevalent in this area, but she’s a wolf spider for sure.  In the grass. IN my hometown!

Spider Tales — Part One

A Buttonbush, A Moth, And A Crab Spider (I think)

I bought a Buttonbush at a native plant sale.  Didn’t know where to plant it, so I potted it beside the porch steps.  The blooms weren’t especially showy, but they  attracted several really cool, very small, critters for me to take pictures of.  Thus, I learned to check it out every time I ascended or descended the steps.  A fading bloom of this bush provides the setting for this Tale.

Oh, look! A moth is resting on the Buttonbush today!

It's one of those bark-colored moths. Interesting head!

Poor thing, it's got a torn wing.

Wow! It looks like the moth is eating a spider!

I did the school drop and checked the bush when I got home.

No! The SPIDER's eating the MOTH! Wow. Never seen THAT before!

Getting ready to leave again, I checked on the moth once more.

Normal moth position. Maybe it wasn't breakfast after all!

I went down to ground level to investigate.

Oh my! An alien has comandeered the moth!

Yeee Haaawww!

Target in sight, Sir

Ahh. Guess the moth is being consumed after all. Looks like the work of a crab spider.