Around The Farm: Spooktacular Spiders

What’s Halloween without spiders? Certainly, bats, witches, ghosts, and all manner of ghouls are heavily featured in the day’s imagery, but spiders are right there, too. Despite the widespread biases against spiders, they are beautiful and fascinating creatures, worthy of respect and appreciation. We’re lucky to have a great variety of spiders on the farm, like those you’ll see in this post.

Sometimes, a spider is where I’m not expecting it…like right where I would normally place my hand to hang a bird feeder. This one was simply resting there, probably trying to warm up. I was glad I looked before I grabbed the carabiner that secures the feeder to the shepherd’s hook or we would both have had a surprise.

Almost didn’t see you!

One of the reasons I appreciate the spiders here so much is that they catch a lot of flies. During the heat of summer, flies are everywhere, so every fly caught in a spider’s web means one fewer to get into the house, where I have to chase it with a flyswatter. Jumping spiders also leap onto flies and carry their quarry away, like this one that was on the inside of a door. Obviously, most spiders don’t belong in the house, so I moved it outside.

Carry out

The orb weavers here are many and varied. These had made their webs in some extra-tall vegetation that grew up around maple seedlings we’re allowing to grow. These were large spiders, with long legs – very elegant and colorful.

As I went to fill water buckets one morning, I realized a jumping spider had spent a cool night on one of the lids. Did it know it coordinated so well?

Perfectly color-coordinated jumping spider

This spider was in the house, so I encouraged it into a cup to carry it outside (though it tried mightily to evade me). Once outside, its stunning markings came to life, and it turned around and looked at me. Gorgeous. And those eyes..!

And – last but certainly not least – this fabulous micrathena orb weaver took up residence for a couple of weeks near the barn. I marveled at how, when she wasn’t busy wrapping up prey, she looked eerily like a thorn or something decidedly not arachnid-like. She also captured many flies in her web. I was glad to have made her acquaintance, even if only briefly.

Remember to be kind to spiders. 🕷️ Wishing you a safe and fun Halloween!