Monday, August 27, 2012

Once Upon a Time... {Long Pictorial Story}

Once upon a time... Actually, it was this past weekend... But, no matter... Let me restart...

Once upon a time, I spied this:
I immediately thought "Black Widow" and went to take a closer look.
It was only a black beetle. What is strange is that these beetles do not fly. At least, I have never seen one fly. So, how did this one get up there? My mind still said "Black Widow" because I know they are powerful spiders. So, I did a little "investigating" and looked around.
I spied this about four or five feet away from the dead beetle and immediately screamed! I KNEW it was a Black Widow and a female one due to the obvious egg sac.

Here is a closeup shot:

{To see a slightly bigger picture, go here.}

Doesn't it have pretty markings? Do NOT be deceived.

I calmly went inside and interrupted Dan in his work (putting down flooring in closets). I asked him to come with me. I showed him what I first saw (the black beetle) and explained to him that I thought "Black Widow". I took him through my steps and told him my reasoning in still thinking "Black Widow" and then showed him where the spider was located. I think Dan was a little startled.

Dan happened to have a long piece of flooring in his hand that was ready to be cut (which is why I was not helping him -- he was doing custom cuts in the closets). He used that piece of flooring to gently persuade it to come down.

Its behavior definitely screamed Black Widow. It would dashed behind the egg sack and curl up in a ball. And, then dash back out onto the web. Then it would repeat the cycle all over again. I was screaming at Dan to be careful the whole time.

Eventually, he got it down on the grass; so, that we could see the proof in the pudding.

The trademark red hourglass.

Note: Both Dan and I absolutely hate killing critters unless we KNOW it is venomous. Many Spiders are beneficial critters. There are only FIVE poisonous spiders in the states out of thousands species. Yes, five. Most people think four; but, there are now five due to the Brown Widow spider making an appearance quite some time ago in Florida and has since been found in all southern states.

This was only our second sighting of a black widow and I think we now can be positively sure that whenever we spy one of these, we know it is a Black Widow. We will immediately kill it along with destroying the egg sac if one exists. As much it saddens me to kill a beautiful critter, we cannot take chances. And, we do NOT want babies running about.

Needless to say, after I took the closeup macro shots, every nerve in my body was standing on end and that feeling lingered for awhile. It was VERY scary for me to be so close to a venomous spider; but, I was determined to take closeup (macro) pictures.

I think I understand why people get hooked on that adrenaline rush feeling from events like bungee jumping. I have never really experienced that rush before to such an extent; but, that feeling is not for me! It took me awhile to calm down completely.

Now then, I want to point out something.

Anytime you see one of these egg sacs, always assume Black Widow even if you don't see the spider. Do NOT attempt to clear or clean until you are 100% sure the spider is gone. Some Black Widows are nearby.

By the way, do you see that curled up black thing in the last picture above? That is a LIVING spider. Do NOT assume they're dead. NEVER ever assume they are dead.

I have more spider pictures (different ones) and will show those later. I think this is enough for now, don't you think?

{Participating in Macro Monday, I heart Macro, and Your Sunday Best.}