Saturday, July 7, 2012

Itsy Bitsy Spi -- Uh, Wait

The Schwinn Moab 3 is not one of those speedy road bikes.  I believe the Schwinn people called it a "mountain bike" when it came out, but I've always thought that gave people the misimpression that I seek out mountains for biking, not that there are any around Dallas.  I've always called it a "trail bike," which also gives people a misimpression about my biking abilities, but a less severe one.   On bike rallies, obese women on sleek bikes with skinny tires go flying past me.  That's OK.  Like me, the Schwinn is built for comfort, not for speed.  And pushing some extra metal up the road is going to burn some calories.

And because I don't go very fast, I can enjoy the view.  Most of those views I have already seen many times from a car.  I keep my eyes on the road, partly because I am not a skilled rider and need to keep it in view at all times, and partly because one finds some interesting things there.

Lately, I've been taking a nifty little Canon Powershot S95 with me.

It usually goes like this:  I'm pedaling along, some odd shape dashes across my vision, and five seconds later, when I'm some ways down the road, I realize it was too symmetrical, or too large, or too moving-around to be standard road crud.

It was a beautiful day for a ride one weekend morning a couple of weeks ago.  Warm, but cloudy and windless.  I was headed east on Panther Creek off Preston, cruising along, when I had one of those what was that? moments.  Something dark but oddly well-defined next to the curb, now receding into the distance behind me

I pedaled back to the shape, excited.  Was it a large speckly spider?

Well, yes  .  .  .

.  .  .  and no.

Sure, it was a wolf spider, which, as spiders go, is large.

But look a little more closely.

At first I thought the same thing you might have thought which was:  Cool, the mama spider is carrying her eggs on her back!  Ain't nature grand?

Two problems with that surmise:  Upon mulling this over for a moment, I thought:  How does a mama spider get eggs on its back like that?  Maybe this was the papa spider, or some spidywhipped boyfriend spider conned into hauling some wolf spider babe's eggs.

Second problem:   On looking into this on my return home, I discovered that a mama wolf spider does carry her eggs around with her, not on her back but in a sac under and to the back of her abdomen, where the eggs come, you know, out, as shown in this image from the Internet:

Which means that those bumps on mama's back are  .  .  .  dozens of baby spider asses.  I was looking not at one spider, but many, some of which were, indeed, itsy bitsy.   Sure enough, here's a genuwine Internet image of a mama wolf spider with spiderlings (which is what one calls a baby spider):

I was hoping she would hang around long enough for me to get a container and catch her to show our grandsons, but on my return trip she was gone.  I did find a burrow nearby which I believe may well have been her home, where she undoubtedly dreamed of the day she would become an empty-nester.

I suspect many of you do not like spiders, and really do not like large spiders, and really really do not like concentrations of lots of spiders in a small area, irrespective of size.

So I will conclude this post with a picture of an adorable Maine Coon kitten, and hope you will check back again soon.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey Steve !
    Too cool !
    Stephen King could do something with this I'm sure.