As August was drawing to a close, I was meandering around outside our cabin, concen-trating on the few sumac leaves whose vascular systems had been compromised by some means or other and were already changing color toward their legendary, blazing autumn brilliance (see the third photo of my August 31 post). As I looked closely at one small branch, I noticed a tiny movement and was rewarded with a good view of a very tiny tan jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus) that was slowly making its way up the main stem.
I could see a small insect (probably a Texas long-legged fly or a close relative) resting on a leaf a foot or so higher than the spider’s position. I settled down to wait patiently and watch, and my wait was very nicely rewarded. The spider reached the base of the right branch, ventured out, and spotted and stalked the fly, verrry slowly and stealthfully.
I was actually ready and poised to do fire a burst when the jump came, but at the last minute it happened so fast that I missed the action. I was, however, able to get one final shot as it settled down on the underside of the leaf with its prey. Certainly a serenely self-satisfied little spider!