Sunday, September 12, 2010

Starring: Big Spider

Big Spider up at her starting point.
Big Spider is the star of the show. She's the first spider I have watched spin her web, and the first one I've looked at consistently over a long period of time. She spins a massive web just overhead every night--low enough to see, but not so low everyone ends up walking through it. She's frustratingly hard to spot during the day. I know she's there somewhere up near the corner, but I never have seen her before she starts.

She begins making her web every evening around 7. A few nights ago, though, she didn't start until 8:30. I don't know why, but I do know I was worried about her. I never would have expected to worry about a spider.

Big Spider moving between lines.
. According to two of the books I looked at, it is supposed to take about an hour for an orb weaver, but Big Spider takes closer to three. I think it may be because she comes down from the roof and anchors at least two of her main lines on our clothesline, so she almost never has anything left to reuse the next day, not even as a guide. Also, probably because of the distance,  it takes her an hour or so of swinging and resting before she has all her lines in place. It's very strange watching her just after dusk when her lines are invisible. She seems to be walking through the air.

Big Spider walking through the air.
Right now, I'm relying on the people at (I have mentioned before that they are awesome) to help me with identifying the spiders, and I haven't been able to get a clear enough picture for them to identify positively, but the consensus is that she is probably a Neoscona crucifera. I'll keep trying to get a good, clear image of her for more complete identification.

You'll probably see a lot of pictures of her, in any case. Like I said, she's the star of the show.

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