Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spider Sunday 4-8-12

I have a hard time curating the Spider Sunday theme each week on Google+.

It's not that I don't love it -- quite the opposite. The problem is that first, I have to resist the urge to find every last person (though they are extremely few and far between) who makes a point to find spider shots and then type something like "Ewwwww! I hate spiders," or "These insects [yes, a few people really say that] are so gross," or "Kill it with fire!" so I can insult and/or correct them. And second, and even more of a difficulty, is the fact that I tend to just ogle the shots instead of sharing, plussing, or commenting at first. It's like when I'm asked to edit something really good. I forget the task and just bask in it. Eventually I get around to responding coherently, but first, I just stare. I mean, how can I help but stare at shots like this, this, this, or this, or a ton of others? Follow these people on Sunday, everyone. I guarantee you'll love spiders in a few weeks.

Also, check out some other bloggers' stuff on spiders -- my friend Chris of The Dragonfly Woman shared some saltie fabulousness on her Friday 5: Why Jumping Spiders Will Always Be My Favorite Spiders, and you should totally check it out (though I might have to write a competing Friday 5 about black widows).

Oh, and happy Easter, everyone! I made an Easter card for you:

The rest of today's images are from a few long-jawed orb weavers I spent time with, who preferred to leave off the bunny ears.

A few spider tidbits for this week:

National "Be Kind to Spiders" Week
April 1 to 7 was National "Be Kind to Spiders" Week! I observed it, but then, I observe spider kindness every week.

Forget snakes on a plane; we've got spiders on a space station!
In the very first YouTube SpaceLab contest, students ages 14 to 18 from around the world were invited to pitch science experiments to be conducted in space. One of the winners -- 18-year-old Amr Mohamed of Egypt, who proposed sending jumping spiders into space to see if they could adapt the way they jump and hunt. Since they can adjust their trajectories on Earth, he reasoned, it's worth checking what they'll do in zero gravity. It'll be, like Mohamed said, "the first time in history for an animal to change its way of hunting to zero-gravity environments." Like any good scientist he has a hypothesis -- he thinks they won't be able to catch their prey -- but who knows? I love that I never would have even though to do something like this. His experiment is being prepared, and will ride to the International Space Station on a cargo ship. Check out his video here, and watch all the videos if you get a chance. One of the greatest things about both young people and scientists is the spirit of drive, optimism, cooperation and just sheer geeky, curious camaraderie. Good stuff. And spiders in space! How cool is that?

Amateurs discover new (super pretty) jumping spider
A naturalist, but not a spider expert or even professional photographer, takes a photo of a spider and shares it. A possible new species is discovered. The Flickr community. Citizen science. An outrageously gorgeous spider. Is there anything not to like about this story?

Someone make me one of these
I've had scissors confiscated at the airport. If I had known this was where they were going, I'd have brought a bunch to donate. I love this sculpture.

That's it for now! I hope everyone had a great Easter. Our chocolate bunnies are already earless and one of our empty candy containers holds a jumping spider. So, you know, business as usual.


Thérèse said... Best Blogger Tips

The Google + shot was excellent too... Glad I did not bring any in our suitcases...

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said... Best Blogger Tips

LOVE jumping spiders -- I love the way they flick around. so cool.

Nic Bishop has a great book on spiders which includes some great "fold-out page" shots showing the jumping motion. In fact, this is the book that got me into tarantula husbandry-- my son, then 2yo, was obsessed with this book. reading it over and over to him is how I got over my squeamishness. :-)