Tallahassee Trip: Day 1, Part 3 (Spiders)

DSC_5517

This was the first spider that Dad saw, the first of many to come.  I love the sun on the web…

The underside of the Bermuda Silk Spider – Nephila Clavipes – Banana Spider- Hurricane Spider- Golden Orb-Weaver – Giant Wood Spider.  I found a lot of names for it on Google. 🙂

DSC_5520

Tiny butterfly the size of a half-dollar.

DSC_5531

These I recently read are Gulf Fritillaries.  Check out the blog where I learned about them!

DSC_5532 DSC_5543

I love this dragonfly shot!  The bokeh is quite pleasing.  (bokeh = blurry background)

DSC_5548

Another Bermuda Silk Spider Nephila Clavipes – Banana Spider- Hurricane Spider- Golden Orb-Weaver – Giant Wood Spider.  But, do you see the smaller one above the large one?  In every single web they were there, so I started referring to them as the “henchmen” for the bigger spiders.  But then Dad realized that they were the males!  So, um, still sort of henchmen I suppose.  But I still cannot get over the cool pattern on the underside of these spiders!  So intricate!

DSC_5568 DSC_5569

Then an Arrowshaped Micrathena, which is an awesome name if you realize that Athena from Greek mythology was a weaver, and is credited with transforming a young prideful girl named Arachne into the first spider, giving them their Latin name.  I won’t give the whole story here, but here’s the link to the full thing: Myth of Arachne.

Arrowshaped Micrathena
Arrowshaped Micrathena
Bermuda Silk Spider Nephila Clavipes - Banana Spider- Hurricane Spider- Golden Orb-Weavers - Giant Wood Spiders
Bermuda Silk Spider Nephila Clavipes – Banana Spider- Hurricane Spider- Golden Orb-Weavers – Giant Wood Spiders
Bermuda Silk Spider Nephila Clavipes - Banana Spider- Hurricane Spider- Golden Orb-Weavers - Giant Wood Spiders
Bermuda Silk Spider Nephila Clavipes – Banana Spider- Hurricane Spider- Golden Orb-Weavers – Giant Wood Spiders

In this fourish-foot-tall cave/tunnel (my dad is 6’3 for reference) I had a very mentally traumatizing experience.  Dad had gone around the cave/tunnel while I wanted to walk through it.  I was a little worried about snakes, so I ended up running through it with my eyes on the ground.  That turned out to be a bad idea, as I ran into a spiders’ web, activating their defense mechanism.  What?  You want to know what the defense mechanism was?  Fine, I’ll tell you.  They (about 3-4 very large spiders) started jumping around and spinning their web to scare me away.  I am not ashamed to say that it worked very well.  I ran out of there as best I could in such a small space with uneven ground.  I ran around the path and found Dad, where I recounted my tale of horror and calmed down a bit.  After a few minutes I could appreciate the humor of the situation but still was wary of what may lay ahead.

DSC_5582

Thankfully, the next critter we saw was one who was a) more scared of us than we of him, b) harmless, c) one we saw in broad daylight.  A Five-Lined Skink!  I’ve previously posted about this little guy but these pictures turned out a lot better because I didn’t have the shadow from the screen on him and this guy was full grown while the other was a juvenile I think.

DSC_5584 DSC_5588 DSC_5597 DSC_5601 DSC_5605 DSC_5606

Here’s the first of my mystery birds.  Again, a big thank you to Gabriel for identifying these for me.
This guy is probably a Cape May Warbler.

DSC_5609

Here’s a leaf.  Not a hard thing to identify… 🙂  I just liked the sunlight on the leaf with the dark tree in the background.

DSC_5612

We passed a beautiful Cypress grove.

DSC_5618

A tiny brown Anole…

DSC_5619

Dad pointed out another skink while I was shooting the anole.

DSC_5620

We saw a sign in the middle of a small ravine that was pretty far away and I guessed that it might have been saying “entry prohibited”.  After a picture, we saw that I was right!  Who would have thunk?

DSC_5622

I thought this was cool… The top of it was resting on another tree, so it hadn’t quite fallen over yet.

DSC_5623

I haven’t done a Hearts In Nature post in a while, but I found one there!

DSC_5628

As we were walking along we saw our 5th spider (not counting the ones in the cave) which was a Daddy Longlegs.  Dad tried to pick him up but dropped him.

DSC_5631 DSC_5633

Take 2 worked and I was able to get a fun picture.

DSC_5635

Spider #6 was a beauty…

DSC_5639 DSC_5642
So that was really fun, and a bit frightening, but the day wasn’t over yet.  We’d see many more spiders, a giant red bug, and lots of birds!

Squid

%d bloggers like this: