Friday, October 23, 2009

211/365 Surprise visitor

As has become my custom when it comes to photos not suitable for the squeamish, I'm giving you advance notice before you scroll down.

If you're easily creeped out, especially by creatures of the large insect variety, this post is not for you.

When I arrived at my back door after work on Wednesday, I wasn't expecting to be greeted by this visitor. But when I reached out to grab the door handle, there she was.

Yep, it's a she. Females are bigger.

Are you ready?

I'll give you a moment to prepare if you like.

Go ahead.

Ready yet?

Scroll down at your own risk...

In 5...





Oh. My. God.

Now let me put some perspective on this. That gray triangular notch at the top center of the photo is the normal mortar between the bricks of the house. This spider was literally the size of a large marble.

I'm pretty good about not shrieking like a little girl when it comes to stuff like this, but I do admit to jerking my hand back and gasping audibly.

After I got over my shock, I thought about the fact that it didn't look like this sucker could jump (think about it -- do you think you'd be built for jumping if your body-weight to leg-mass ratio was like this?), so I leaned in a little closer to look at it. I've never seen one of these spiders before.

Then I slid by to go inside, grabbed my camera, and came back outside to photograph it before it could crawl away. And then I relocated it with a long-handled broom. To a land far, far away.

Well, over the neighbors' fence, anyway.

As I found out later, it's a marbled orb weaver and is actually fairly common in this area. Go figure.

Camera: Canon 40D with 60mm macro lens, 1/125s, f/2.8 at ISO 640 at about 6:00 p.m.

1 comment:

  1. This is even more exciting when you click on your picture and it enlarges to a much bigger size on your screen! Egads.