Webnesday (6)

We have a parcel of land across the access road to our cabin here in northern Minnesota, and I’ve been creating a hiking trail in the new growth that’s sprung up since we had it logged a year and a half  ago because there were so many hyper-mature trees that were falling over and clogging it all up.  I’ve posted a number of photos along the old trail, and now I’m immersed in crafting the new one.  Due to other family activities and commitments, it’s taken over a month for me to pay the needed attention to trail maintenance/restoration.  I finally found the time last weekend, when I was alone, without a car, for a couple of days.

Most of the maintenance involves nipping off new woody plants that have sprung up in the trail that I started last year and weed-whacking the rest, mostly bracken fern and low ground-cover plants.  Close to the end of the trail, nearing a beloved little wetland pond, I noticed a beautiful, large (2½-inch legspan) nursery-web spider (Pisaurina mira) on a bracken fern, who appeared not overly concerned with my presence.  I backed off a little, prepared my camera, approached very respectfully, and was able to make a few hand-held portrait shots.

Nursery web spider 1194Then, since she had positioned herself right in the path that I needed to clear, I carefully nipped the lower stems of the ferns she had appropriated and equally-carefully moved them to a quiet location a safe distance away.  She appeared satisfied enough with my choice of a new site that she tolerated my proximity quite well and stayed still for me for a few more photos.

Nursery web spider 1206Nursery web spider 1198I will be back in the near future and will try my best to find her again, to report on her progress.

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About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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12 Responses to Webnesday (6)

  1. Mike Powell says:

    Gorgeous shots, Gary, of a beautiful spider. I especially like the composition of the first shot–those ferns are wonderful.

    • krikitarts says:

      I do love the bracken, especially at this time of year. It won’t be very long, though, before they start turning brown. They give pretty much the first sign that summer is aging. Happy you like them, Mike!

  2. Boy, you do keep yourself busy don’t you? Sounds like a great place and you seem to be making lots of new “friends” :). Great spidey shots!!

    • krikitarts says:

      I’ve been busier then I’ve been for quite some time, and yes, it certainly is a great place to be busy in. Oh, how I love these north woods! I’ve been hoping to have one of these sit for me for quite a while, and it was a real treat. Delighted to be able to bring her to you!

  3. Adrian Lewis says:

    Good pictures, Gary, especially the middle one! Adrian

  4. MikeP says:

    Man that looks like the perfect hunting machine… feel ya on up keep while living in the forever growing forest.

    • krikitarts says:

      We must respect our fellow inhabitants as we create our own niches among theirs. I plan to do so as I craft my own inroad into their growing environment. Thanks, Mike!

  5. Finn Holding says:

    That’s a story I can relate to too, Gary!

    I’m amazed it let you transplant it to another location. Was your respectful approach to avoid disturbance or down to the fear of a bite?

    • krikitarts says:

      Some disturbance was inevitable, of course, but I took great care to keep it at a minimum, and that was really my only concern. She was protecting a brood of tiny offspring in the nursery web she’d created under her, but in my experience their protection efforts hardly ever extend into aggression unless it’s in response to a natural, recognizable enemy. I can’t remember ever having been bitten by a spider, although I actually watched a harvestman (daddy-longlegs) bite my finger when I was a boy. (It didn’t hurt at all.)

      • Finn Holding says:

        Do you have any biters up there? We have some here but I’ve never been nibbled. My Mum has though; she was rescuing one from the house and it bit the palm of her hand and she said it was like a bee sting and she had a lump there for a long time afterwards.

      • krikitarts says:

        None that cause me any worry. Statistically, the odd black widow or brown recluse may be reported, but those most likely hitchhike here with folks coming from warmer climes. The only biters that cause us any concern at all are the ubiquitous mosquitoes, deer flies (Chrysops), horse flies (Tabanus), and little “sand flies,” probably biting stable flies (Stomoxys).

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