Lace Knitting

Is this like knitting on eight needles?  Talk about lace weight. 

This spider has been working on the outside of one of the great room cottage windows since I arrived on Friday. The farthest out part of the web gracefully drapes 51 inches from the top to the bottom. Measured across at the bottom of the window this triangular shaped web is 43 inches. The silk circles from a center spot, sort of. It’s kind of sloppy knitting though. And the threads are held together with crisscrossing strands. In this photo it seems to be doing some repair work on the web. I’ve watched it use a couple of those shorter legs in front to shovel little gnatty tidbits into its mouth.Very efficient. Its body is about half an inch long. Measured from longest leg to longest leg, it’s about 1.5 inches.

I’ve tried to find out what this spider is. We have the Audubon Society’s Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. But, I’m sorry, even touching the glossy color photos in that book long enough to turn the pages gives me the creeps. I thought maybe if I just steeled my resolve and got past the really ugly stuff and went straight to the spiders, I’d be OK. But even the spiders are more than my queasy me can manage. Back lit, the creature just sort of looks like a big spider. Photographed by Steve and his macro lens, it’s hideous, in an interesting way. The windows don’t open on this side of the room, so that’s good. Seeing the little hairs on its legs is more than I want to know about an arachnid dangling this close to my dinner table.

Are there any spider experts reading my blog?  I got through the Audubon book enough to decide that this might be a Mottled Orb Weaver.  Care to comment?  The only poisonous spider in Michigan is a Black Widow, and this isn’t that.  So, another good reason to live in Michigan.  Michigan bugs hardly ever kill you.

3 thoughts on “Lace Knitting

  1. i love spiders from a distance, or through a glass divider. but up close? the mouth bits, the hairy bits, they give me shivers. since i come from texas, where the fauna are often murderous, you’ve given me a good reason to consider michigan in your last hilarious sentence. 🙂

  2. @lori…I definitely agree about the up close and personal stuff. He (probably she) has gone into her hidey hole and let me eat my breakfast alone this morning. Maybe we have a new idea for the next “Pure Michigan” TV ad: “Come to Michigan…where our bugs hardly ever kill you.”

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