Friday, May 25, 2007

Things I spotted today

I think we can all agree that Mary is hands-down, the Queen of 60 mph-0 mph, I-See-A-Bird, illegal U-turn, screeching tires kind of driving.
But I think I am the Balance-The-Camera-On-The-Steering Wheel, Take-Pictures-At-70 mph sort of girl.

(and BTW, Mary...I am not letting you "give up" on birds of prey. Nope. Ain't gonna do it.)

Some things I passed to and from a program today:
Carnival animals on the expressway
Carnival animals on the expressway!
I LOVE summer Catholic church festivals, though we never seem to make it to one. The last one I was at was when I was pregnant with Isabelle.
I love the rides, the games, the food....funnel cakes, hot dogs, cotton candy. Yummy.

Lebanon Correctional Institution
Lebanon Correctional Institution. (NOT where my program was!)
I have never done a program for inmates. I wonder if anybody in there is a birder? Guess it would be hard to find birds behind bars.
Jail birds!
(I crack myself up.)
And THREE water towers? Are criminal types thirstier than other people?
Tiger swallowtail
I was happy to see a tiger swallow light onto our pear tree. Isabelle, our resident Bug Girl, was thrilled when I showed her the picture. (I was on my out the door and didn't have time to go back in and round her up)
We found a beautiful caterpillar on the dill last year, but I am really not sure what kind it was. I thought a swallowtail...I need a butterfly/caterpillar field guide. And a tree guide... and a wildflower guide...

And now, hold on to your shorts....

Big ass spider

Aiiiiiiiiiii !
I was putting the GHO back in her mew, and as I put my hand on the door to lock it,
I. Saw. This. Thing.
When I am alone, I tend to swear. Like a sailor.
Today, basically I said, "Holy F***! What the Hell is THAT?????"
When I got home, Isabelle and I got on the Web (Ha! I did it again!) and researched.
As far as I can tell, this is a fishing spider.
They are found in woods near streams, and RAPTOR is right next to Mill Creek.
It was HUMONGOUS. Bigger around than a pop can. And unsettlingly hairy.
I will be watching where I put my hands at RAPTOR from now on. Jeez!

By researching this spider, I learned quite a bit about other spiders...
Like wolf spiders. They are called that because of their ability to run down their prey. Ack!
But they exhibit an unusual degree of parental care as far as spiders are concerned. They carry their egg sacks around until they hatch, then the spiderlings climb onto the mother's abdomen where they will ride along for about a month. That is very cool.
And wolf spiders mate for life! You wouldn't think that spiders would be so...I don't know...committed to each other.
But all this spider-image viewing is making the back of my neck tingle.


LauraHinNJ said...

Wow! That's a big spider!

What did the resident Bug Girl have to say about that?


Mary said...

Susan, you are more dangerous that me! 70mph on the steering wheel, girl? LOL!

Now I'm going to have nightmares, thank you. I have a horrible fear of spiders and that one is incredibly nasty. Yesterday, I saw a brown hairy one (about 1-inch diameter) on the floor at the office and I just had to step on it for fear it would visit me under my desk. Crunch. Ooooo....the willies! When I was around 5 years old, a hairy brown job got tangled in my hair - since then, I get goosebumps when I see a spider.

I won't give up birds of prey, Susan. But how stupid of me to think I saw a Northern Harrier? My Lord!

I ordered a Sibley's today.

LostRoses said...

Susan, that photo gave me shivers all down my spine. Eeeek! I can't stand their legs. And Mary, when I think of some of the wrong bird I.D.'s I've made, I cringe. Of course, I made them publicly, and in a large group of birders!

Lynne said...

EEEeeww!! I would have wet my pants and run screaming!! Are you kidding about the pop can size??
Hmmm... Hasty Brook, woods, stream...
Tell me they live only in Ohio.

Liza Lee Miller said...

I woke up this morning having had dreams about bugs. I was on the Bug websites trying to figure out what kind of katydid I saw in my garden and then I finally gave up on trying to figure out what kind of spider was nesting on my front porch. I don't mind spiders outdoors but inside the house, I'm kind of picky about them. Except for our Daddy-long-leg-spiders. They are so harmless they don't bother me much.

However a soda can spider would definitely have sent me screaming.

NatureWoman said...

Yowsa, a spider as big as a soda can, now that's a freakin' huge spider girlfriend! I'm not normally scared of spiders, but I would totally have respect for this monster. Interesting facts about spiders, though!