No, it’s not a typo. Wait—let me go back a step or two, and please have some understanding for my rather lengthy introduction…
My elder daughter has been fascinated by eight-legged creatures for as long as I can remember. And so have I, though my fascination has been focused more in the arachnid (spider) direction, while hers has expanded to include—and eventually concentrate upon—the mollusk varieties, to the extent that she has earned her PhD in marine biology with a primary interest in cephalopods (squid and octopi), and is now one of the world authorities in her field. By the way, I have her to thank for my migration to the WordPress community in May 2011.
That being said, she has maintained her interest in everything spiderish, and has incorporated a category of spider-related information and experience in her own website (if you’re interested, I will happily supply a link). I have been considering adding one of my own for quite some time now, and have decided that that time has come.
I fully realize that there are many of you out there who are—shall we say—not completely comfortable not only when in the company of spiders, but also when confronted with more intimate imagery. Please rest assured that it is not my intent to shock, scare, or otherwise intimidate any of my followers. I find them endlessly fascinating in their ecological perfection, their specialization as predators, and their seemingly-endless diversity. So please proceed with an open mind, and be willing to acknowledge and share in my admiration of one of our most amazing fellow creatures.
I’d like to start with an encounter that I had only yesterday. Since we moved to Omaha back in 1997, we have shared our home with little light-yellow spiders, about a centimeter in body length, pretty much through all the seasons. As you will know, if you’ve been reading my recent posts, our spring has been rather reluctant to manifest itself, and I’m indescribably eager to turn my photographic attention to new seasonal life in its reluctant progression. I don’t know what they’ve been eating (and, truth be told, I’d just as soon not), but two apparently fully-developed adults have made an appearance in the past few days. Yesterday, this one had positioned himself on a handy wall, and waited there patiently while I mounted my favorite lens onto my favorite camera, affixed them to my best tripod, and waited patiently there while we engaged in a very rewarding photo session. I have tentatively identified the object of my current affection as Cheiracanthium mildiae, commonly known as a black-footed or yellow-sac spider. There are many more spider portraits in my archives that I plan to share on this website so, if you’re an arachno-phobe, please take note: I will always preface their publication with the heading of “Webnesday.” So here’s my first offering for this new and hopefully-informative category.