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!)

9-4-2016 Legging Spider 6.jpg

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

9-4-2016 Brown Recluse.jpg

Seven-legged spider-UPDATE

A not so itsy-bitsy-spider was climbing the walls of the house yesterday and later found exploring the front porch. Not yet sure what he is, but have a query in to the Arthropod Museum curator at the University of Arkansas. Toe-to-toe, this fellow was about the size of a quarter. He was also missing a leg, which made his climb harder. During one of his slow climbs, he fell off the wall, but got back up again.

Thanks to the entomologists at the U of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, we have an ID for our mystery man:

“That is an adult male Myrmekiaphila, the only eastern genus of Euctenizidae, the ‘wafer-lid trapdoor spiders.’ The name ‘Myrmekiaphila’, meaning “ant-loving” refers to fact that early authors found burrows near ant nests … although there is no actual association with these spiders and ants. Males reach adulthood in the fall and early winter, when they leave their burrows and wander in search of females (which remain in their burrows). The strange modification of the first leg (metatarsus) seen in these photos is used to grip the females forelegs and push her backwards awkwardly, which prevents her from eating him during mating.”
Red spider on concrete brick.Red spider on tan bricks looking at front of spider.

12-27 Mystery Spider9

Weekly photo challenge: Fresh

This week’s challenge is all about fresh. The top photo was taken almost fresh out of bed as this butterfly flitted from bloom to bloom. The photo below it represents fresh too, but in a rather dark, macabre and downright “ewwww” kind of way, as nature can be at times. (You may not want to scroll down.)

Yellow and black butterfly.
Yellow swallowtail makes an early morning visit to the hydrangea.
Spider and grasshopper.
This spider somehow wound up impaled on a thorn on one of the citrus plants. The green grasshopper spent a good deal of time on the carcass this morning. By late afternoon, the spider’s body had disappeared.

And other sources of fresh:

 

 

Weekly photo challenge: The world through your eyes

Nature shows there is beauty in both life and death.

And a look through everyone’s eyes:  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/world-through-your-eyes/