I’m writing this from New Zealand , and I’d been meaning to spend some time with all of my WordPress friends, but minor emergencies and family events have prevented me from keeping up. I make no apologies–I’m grateful that I’m here to help out when I’m needed.
It’s mid-winter here, so I’m not surprised that I haven’t seen any spiders, but I have a couple of their cousins for you anyway, from a few weeks ago. Harvestmen are, of course, not spiders, but belong to the order Opiliones; nor do they build webs, but I’ve featured them before a couple of times (here and here), and it seems an appropriate time to do so again. Also, I need a quick reminder of recent warmer times.
I’ve been here for five days and have had very little chance to get out and about, but we are planning an outing this weekend, provided the weather cooperates. It’s been fairly nice about half the time, but when it’s not, the wind, rain, and cold can very quickly combine to make it really unpleasant to try to take a stroll in the bush. We shall see.
I love daddy longlegs, the name by which I knew harvestmen when I was growing up. They have the most unusual eyes, which are on a kind of stalk that grows out of the middle of their backs. I remember being confused the first time that I read that harvestmen are arachnids, but not spiders. Previously I thought arachnids meant the same as spiders.
Unusual is right. I am always amazed by how agile they are when I see them climbing around on and among flowers. Lots of work has been done studying the eyes of jumping spiders, but I’d like to see some studies of these guys’ eyes.
I love their graceful legs. I dared my brother to eat one once when we were little. Of course, he did it. :-)
Nice shots. Are you coming down to Hawke’s Bay – if so I would love to show you around. It is freezing at the moment. Lots of snow in the middle of the North Island.
We’ve a yard full of Harvestmen. Probably most everyone with a yard can say the same thing.
I hope your emergency is managed well and that you can enjoy your time there.
I don’t imagine you’ll see many arachnids in New Zealand in the depths of winter.