Crushed

Just a week ago, one of my colleagues shared that she was nearly fully recovered after being bitten by a brown recluse spider. While she felt barely a pinprick, within hours she was feeling much larger effects: sweating and dizziness. Now this lady is tough as nails, but she spent four weeks recovering.

Here in the Ouachita Mountains, all sorts of venomous creatures are commonplace whether they’re rattlers or scorpions or spiders — brown recluse and black widows included.

Having come in from my Sunday photo safari, I took off the leggings I wore as a guard against mosquito and chigger bites. Needless, to say, I was stunned to find the crumpled body of a spider INSIDE one of the legs.

Its thorax had been crushed and its silk glands and other innards were firmly attached to the fabric. Its mouth end, palps extended, were facing toward my leg. My husband and I checked for bites and needless to say, we are keeping a close eye out for any symptoms.

We are just hoping this will be one of the majority of bites classed as “medically insignificant.”

(UPDATE: No ill effects!)

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What a healthy, living recluse looks like. Taken yesterday on the front porch.

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Having a cool down

An northern watersnake allows the rushing water of Coleman Creek to cool and disguise him on a warm late summer afternoon in Little Rock. A small colony of these snakes inhabit part of the creek that runs through the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

 

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Hummingbird moth

I love seeing these clearwing, or hummingbird moths, partly because they don’t come around that often and because of their relatively large-bodied fuzziness. Caught this one on a dark overcast day in the office garden. (Sorry about the too-hot flash.)
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