I keep promising to do regular wildlife posts, and something keeps putting them off: sometimes something more important comes up, sometimes, well, sometimes I don't know what happens. But I finally had it all squared away this week. I'm kicking it off with ... big surprise ... black widow spiders. (I know. Again. But I thought a proper post was in order.)
However, yet again, I got sidetracked, this time by a cold. More to the point, by my cold medicine. I've had a cold for half the week, and it's not the end of the world for sure, but I finally decided I would actually like to breathe. This is a problem. Decongestants, antihistamines, expectorants (what? I'm already grossing you out with black widows, right?), and really anything stronger than a children's chewable vitamin (and maybe those too) -- they all have about the average medicinal effect on me. What isn't average at all is their drowsiness effect. Seriously. I just now sat here, with my head cocked to the side like a dog waiting for a treat, racking my brain because I couldn't remember the word "drowsy." Cold medicine especially, including the alleged non-drowsy kind, either knocks me out straightaway or renders my intellect somewhere between Sarah Palin and a sea slug. (Decide for yourself who belongs on which end of that spectrum. It's still not good news for me.)
So if I were to give you a Wildlife Wednesday this week, all you would have gotten would have been something like this:
See? Did you see the error there? I just proofread it, and I know there's at least one error. I spelled "Yea" "Yay!" Clearly I'm not ready for this post.
But! Today is a good day for black widows anyway, because this one won me a camera rental, thanks to Aimee over at Greeblemonkey and all the wonderful, awesome, able-to-see-beyond-spider-prejudice people who voted for me:
You might recognize her from the top, although I flipped her for the header. Embiggen her here.
That gives me an idea. I can totally cheat and call this "Black widows Part 1." I have plenty of images from when I wasn't drugged/incoherent. Enjoy.
A brilliantly illuminated juvenile (thought by some to be an adult brown widow but I totally don't think it is, and I've hatched a generation of spiderlings and am watching them through their moltings just to prove myself correct -- more on that next week):
A super closeup, showing her eyes and mouthparts:
And just so you can appreciate how small the eyes are and how big of a freak I am for getting so close, a full-frame head-on shot:
And lastly, our babies:
...and their rather unfortunate favorite meal:
I'll have more to share next week.
What? I look at your baby pictures.