And because I don't go very fast, I can enjoy the view. Most of those views I have already seen many times from a car. I keep my eyes on the road, partly because I am not a skilled rider and need to keep it in view at all times, and partly because one finds some interesting things there.
Lately, I've been taking a nifty little Canon Powershot S95 with me.
It usually goes like this: I'm pedaling along, some odd shape dashes across my vision, and five seconds later, when I'm some ways down the road, I realize it was too symmetrical, or too large, or too moving-around to be standard road crud.
It was a beautiful day for a ride one weekend morning a couple of weeks ago. Warm, but cloudy and windless. I was headed east on Panther Creek off Preston, cruising along, when I had one of those what was that? moments. Something dark but oddly well-defined next to the curb, now receding into the distance behind me
I pedaled back to the shape, excited. Was it a large speckly spider?
Well, yes . . .
. . . and no.
Sure, it was a wolf spider, which, as spiders go, is large.
But look a little more closely.
At first I thought the same thing you might have thought which was: Cool, the mama spider is carrying her eggs on her back! Ain't nature grand?
Two problems with that surmise: Upon mulling this over for a moment, I thought: How does a mama spider get eggs on its back like that? Maybe this was the papa spider, or some spidywhipped boyfriend spider conned into hauling some wolf spider babe's eggs.
Second problem: On looking into this on my return home, I discovered that a mama wolf spider does carry her eggs around with her, not on her back but in a sac under and to the back of her abdomen, where the eggs come, you know, out, as shown in this image from the Internet:
Which means that those bumps on mama's back are . . . dozens of baby spider asses. I was looking not at one spider, but many, some of which were, indeed, itsy bitsy. Sure enough, here's a genuwine Internet image of a mama wolf spider with spiderlings (which is what one calls a baby spider):
I was hoping she would hang around long enough for me to get a container and catch her to show our grandsons, but on my return trip she was gone. I did find a burrow nearby which I believe may well have been her home, where she undoubtedly dreamed of the day she would become an empty-nester.
I suspect many of you do not like spiders, and really do not like large spiders, and really really do not like concentrations of lots of spiders in a small area, irrespective of size.
So I will conclude this post with a picture of an adorable Maine Coon kitten, and hope you will check back again soon.
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