Early Morning Open Thread by Betty Cracker| August 21, 20145:54 am| 112 CommentsThis post is in: Open ThreadsFacebookTweetEmailHere’s a big ass scary spider: I was told it is harmless, but that’s not true because when I saw it, I turned around and ran smack into a tree.
Well, getting up at 5:00 am means I get to be first and say I laughed out loud.
I hope the tree was not injured?
I LOL’d too, and before coffee. Good morning Betty and fellow Juicers.
I thought for a moment going by the picture this was going to be yet another pet rescue bleg.
Handsome lass, isn’t she? Look at those legs, just look at them. Beautiful plumage.
I was glad to see your humping ladybugs the other day, Betty. Not because I particularly collect ladybug [email protected], but because I was beginning to be somewhat concerned when I realized I hadn’t seen a ladybug all year here in southeast PA. I’m still concerned, but at least they aren’t extinct yet.
This guy reminds me of the daddy long-legs I saw in the garden a couple of days ago, and that was the first one of THOSE I’d seen all year. Again, makes me wonder about things like climate change and pollution.
Too early to fret about stuff like that though. So I’ll just admire your spider. From a thousand miles away.
@Randy P: I haven’t seen a butterfly in a long while, I’ve seen a few this year.
That is an orb weaver (many different species)(until an entomologist comes along and tells me I am an ignorant idiot). They make the most beautiful webs. August-September is their time of year and one is smart to hold a stick up in front of you on walks in the woods.
Sorry about the collision – amazing how often tree’s just appear fully grown in one’s path … .
I think the spider season around here (when we start finding big webs on the porch) is later in the year, September/October. Seems to me that fall is spider season anyway. The webs are frequently across the steps or other walking paths, which always makes me think of the Far Side cartoon with the two spiders at the bottom of the sliding board. “If we pull this off, we’ll eat like kings!”
Wow, she’s beautiful. But can she spell?
ETA: I have a few of these little smiley-face-backed spiders on my screened-in patio. They sure look happy.
@BillinGlendaleCA: On Monday, I saw my first butterfly of the season. A very large and graceful tiger swallowtailpics from Google) fluttered and swooped around the courtyard of the hospice where I volunteer.
@Mustang Bobby: Good question. Sounds like our front pager fled too quickly to see if “Some Betty” was inscribed anywhere.
I “hate” spiders. I understand their worth to human interests and I will even let them live happily virtually anywhere in my house; but the instant they intrude into certain “sensitive” spaces (e.g. right over the bed, over the toilet or tub) it’s spider apocalypse. Too many vampire movies as a kid.
Jelly fish, on the other hand; I’m firmly in the camp of no jelly fish on this planet is a good thing. Along with mosquitoes. And we’ll just avoid the whole microscopic parasites world entirely.
Fortunately, Betty didn’t need to visit an emergency room. If that had happened to John, the impact would have knocked him unconscious.
That’s a beaut – but I’m with Betty, I would have turned tail and ran.
One of my “best” days after I moved into my new house was when I turned on a faucet at my outside sink and a huge black widow unfurled herself from it. Yeah, so I screamed .
Ok, Lack of sleep has really done something to me brain. I look at that fine beast and think “That’d probably be a mighty tasted gummy spider actually” I mean, look at those legs!, Root beer, caramel . . .
Waiting for a large rainstorm to start. The kids in the area have started school again, and right on schedule, the hot summer weather has shown up in SW MI. Been so cool that summer mornings have been in the 50s and low 60s for the last month. Perfect for me, but not so much for beachgoers and tomatoes.
I hope you are okay, Betty. Thanks for the first laugh of the day.
@Randy P: @BillinGlendaleCA: Saw a few monarchs on the wing around the Erie islands, big healthy ones, plus a few new faces (yellow and black longtail-looking guys, may have been moths). And there is no lack of daddy-long-legs in my backyard, plenty of junk to hide under and hang out in.
@henqiguai: We try to pitch spiders outside when they get inside, and if they are already outside we leave them in peace. They eat so many flies and mosquitoes I’d put them on the payroll if I could. Jellyfish, otoh, agreed.
The tree was more harmful than the spider?
@henqiguai: … Jelly fish, on the other hand …
My attitude as well, but am told they are a big food source for sea turtles, so am conflicted. At least the ones we get in Atlantic are not as awful as the ones the Aussies can encounter …
I agree that it looks like a Golden Silk Orbweaver, aka, Banana Spider. They’re common here in Florida but aren’t as scary as they look.
@henqiguai: I don’t hate spiders but they do give me a start when my face comes too close to one, like when I’m working under the eaves of the house.
Now my vote for elimination from the world is ticks. Little, sneaky, disease ridden buggers. Can’t take a decent walk in the woods or field without getting a couple of the bastards on me and my dogs. We have a jar on the shelf full of alcohol that we call the “tickie spa”. After a couple seconds they feel no pain. Ever again. It’s amazing how many that jar collects over a summer. Have I mentioned that I hate ticks?
Jellies have been around for more than 720,000,000 years.
In a tiny fraction of that time, we humans have done infinitely more harm to the planet than they have.
Yeah, and apparently two *new* deadly jelly fish (to accompany the box jelly) have been discovered around Australia. And in the meantime, care to dwell upon the awesomeness of the Pacific Ocean dwelling Humboldt Jelly? When it’s large enough (massy) to cause a middlin’ sized fishing boat to tip when pulling in its nets, that’s a lot of creature; and their habitat seems to be expanding east and north (toward US waters) due to global warming.
Ha! I take your logic and your science and I stomp it into the ground! We’re (I’m) talking *my* squeamish reaction to a whole Phylum, their history and/or value to the earth notwithstanding (worse than my reaction to suddenly coming upon a large spider at eye-level in the yard). Almost want to channel the Emperor Shaddam’s words when he commanded the assault on Dune; except as long as I stay away from the coast during “jellyfish” season I can ignore them.
Ticks are 2nd highest on my list with roaches taking the number one spot.
The irony is that nits are dead eggs or empty egg-casings and need not be picked.
(Oh, wait — maybe that’s not ironic after all.)
Up in New England the fauna simply don’t grow as big.
So my idea of “scary” starts at a bit smaller size than a Floridian’s.
Better out in the yard than on the kitchen floor.
@pamelabrown53: Banana spider? Now I’ll have to get a personal banana tester. Don’t know if my cats are up to the job of killing arachnids and insects–they usually just like staring at them.
@Mustang Bobby: Thanks for the link. I had forgotten about BugGuide. I have it bookmarked now.
I love spiders (though I still kill the brown recluses I find in the house.) For awhile a big spider was building a hungeweb from the dog gate to the ceiling fan in my den, and I just left it. Webs are like temporary art. The spiders use them for a time, then they move on, and then I can remove the webs.
@ThresherK: They do call them banana spiders, but I’m not sure they have a special affinity for bananas. I have banana trees, and I’ve never seen one of the spiders on them, but they’re definitely hanging out in other parts of the yard.
Mike in dc
Orb weavers are cool. Well, at least until your giant Newf carries one inside your house on her tail. Then removal and relocation becomes a top priority.
I would be too scared to even take a picture of the spider.
spiders scare me.
@OzarkHillbilly: yeah. But when’s the last time a jellyfish has pitched in and picked a nit? Or for that matter hosted a parasite as unique as a louse. We serve as a good source of food for lice. We’re useful that way. Jellyfish do nothing like that. Judged by the number of parasites hosted, I bet we win.
From experience, I can forewarn you not to step on a pregnant spider, unless you like seeing dozens of little critters running around.
that isn’t true. the term ‘nit’ generally refers to the louse egg.
so, are talking penny or beach ball for this kiddo? hard to judge scale. And, for the terrors of Australlor file, here’s mention of a study from there saying something about urban environments seems to be making the orbweavers bigger.. And multiply faster.
ps. Jelly fish. candidate for most boring gummy creature ever. although . . .
I feel that way about snakes. Beyond reason.
Yeaagggghhhh, jellyfish ::shudder::
I stepped on one as a toddler. Ended up in the ER with full-body hives. Now I live near the Chesapeake, which is full of the evil buggers.
Gin & Tonic
@Cervantes: In a tiny fraction of that time, we humans
We humans have also ascended to artistic and cultural pinnacles, such as the Sistine Chapel, or Jersey Shore. Jellyfish haven’t done much.
@Gin & Tonic:
And Balloon Juice!
My parents captured a mommy spider with her horde of babies riding on her back. My mom took this great picture with her camera, from about 5-6 feet away and when you zoom in, you can see all of the babies.
And you think your day went badly:
Dubai won’t let ‘world’s most pierced man’ enter because it looks like he practices ‘black magic’
Little info on orb weavers
Got drilled by about a half dozen moon jellies getting back into a dive boat in Key West a few years ago, no wetsuit.
I finally broke down and bought a wetsuit after nearly cramming my shoulder into a lionfish while diving in an overhead environment in Jamaica a few weeks ago – between that and nearly having a couple of remora attach to my body in Belize in May, I’m now a believer.
@Mustang Bobby: If anyone asks me what the creepiest thing I have seen in awhile is, I will now be able to say it’s smiley-face-backed spiders.
Thankfully I guess that’ raven’s “look who I found on a shelf this morning” was a snake, or that would have won out by a
That story reminds me – I’m getting some new ink this afternoon. Also considering some, uh, interesting piercing.
jake the antisoshul soshulist
Here is one of what my father liked to call “Texas Widows” because of their size and markings.
I’m still mentally conditioned by growing up in San Diego. Generally the water there is too chilly for jellies (I was stung in Florida). I don’t even think about them until it’s pointed out, and then UUUGGGHHH.
Used to boogie board every day, year round. Never worn a wetsuit in my life. 55-degree water just means you should kick faster!
Iowa Old Lady
This is why you need to live somewhere with deep, deep freezes so any insect that can hauls ass south.
@pamelabrown53: “but aren’t as scary as they look.”
Speak for yourself. That photo was almost enough to make this hard core arachnophobe run from the room screaming.
Speaking of scary insects. I was talking to a state park Ranger (sadly I missed seeing Warden “McBabe”) over the weekend and he was telling me that there is a huge tick problem now that didn’t exist in Franklin County, Maine before. They have found dead adult moose that were completely sucked dry of blood by thousands of ticks. He was talking about moose that weigh 1,000 – 1,500 pounds.
ETA Oh and apparently public health officials in CO are now warning residents that some fleas have tested positive for bubonic plague. WTF???
There were bunches of stingless comb jellies in Belize, felt odd to swim through a swarm without getting stung.
Those moon jellies in Key West sucked – at least one got up a trunk leg.
Did some quarry diving last weekend. Below the thermocline, that drop sucked the wind out of me.
I have a little hopping spider on my windowsill right now. It is adorable!
This thread is at the same time totally awesome and really icky. A betty cracker thread with humor and balloon juice camaraderie is obviously the awesome part, but I could have gone all day with discussions of snakes and roaches and ticks and mom spiders with zillions of babies on their backs.
Spiders are not harmless. Like wasps, they are beings composed purely of anger, hatred, and spite. And there’s one hanging just above your head right now…
Wow it looks like Pikachu.
And happy thursday to you, too! :-)
I’ve noticed an interesting trend on Facebook the last couple of days.
Many of the people in my feed that are in law enforcement are starting to post violent videos to demonstrate how dangerous their job is.
@Gin & Tonic:
Our “artistic and cultural pinnacles” appeal to our own vanity. The planet is indifferent.
@chopper: Depends whom you ask, I suppose.
Anyhow, ironies abound.
LOL, ‘ticks’. clearly it’s a chupacabra. or rather, a chupalce.
I guess if you ask someone who doesn’t know what the word means, sure ‘it depends’.
Yep, this looks like Nephila clavipes, the golden silk spider. Nephila orbweavers have, I believe, the strongest silk of any spider. If you’ve ever seen any of those textiles woven from spider silk, it was silk from these or another from the same genus. Also very reluctant to bite and absolutely harmless, unless you happen to be an arthropod (although their webs are strong enough that they occasionally catch hummingbirds).
I know!! Funny thing is I had asked the Ranger if it was possible that I had heard a lot of coyotes about overnight and he told me that yes it was very likely and that coyotes and ticks are two big issues they are dealing with right now. After he told me about the ticks I didn’t care so much about the coyotes!
Ok, I think we should look for a picture of McBabe (Warden MacCabe) to get these awful insect horror stories out of our heads.
Chupacabra!!! Oh no not those demon dog things!
Please F’P ers we need some cat videos or butterfly photos stat!
Tone In DC
I saw Eight Legged Freaks a while back. I have to smile now, after seeing Betty’s picture. In the movie, all of the freaks were CGI.
The most revolting things around here have to be the opossums. The waterbugs on the sidewalks near restaurants in Georgetown are a close second. The economy size rats near the Capital Hilton get an honorable mention.
You could just travel to my end of the commonwealth and visit the daddy long leg zoo we seem to have this year. The most I’ve ever seen. Everywhere. What’s been missing here this year is stinkbugs. Which is fantastic news.
Or is it to demonstrate how dangerous they are?
@MomSense: I had no idea who that was, so I googled. Sweet photo of him feeding the baby doe with a bottle.
Second the request for a sweet kitty or something.
Interesting story about the evolution of crowd control in Europe
Good point. Mostly it is videos with the hooligans as the main subject.
I’m not one for reality shows but the North Woods Law show is pretty interesting. The Maine Warden Service is impressive.
Me too. I’m not very happy with spiders, but I don’t have a complete, unreasoning, utter fear of them like I do snakes. I hate snakes with a passion. I was traumatized by a copperhead as a child (our housing development was built in what used to be a huge farm with gigantic orchards) and again in my early twenties by a huge black snake in my boyfriend’s basement. Had one other encounter in our house with a snake of unknown but not North American origin found in a large package of bar stools from Indonesia when I was with my ex. All snakes must die, IMHO. I do not care one whit for why they might be good in the ecosystem. Fuck ’em.
@MomSense: I had never even heard of that. I need to get out more.
@Lee: Saw an interesting list on Daily Kos the other day: More bartenders die per capita each year in this country than cops – the list is deaths per 100,000 people:
WHERE IS THE TRIGGER WARNING!?!?!
Oh sorry — thought I was at Shakesville for a moment. My mistake.
(And yes — that is beautiful. But I am happy to only see it in the picture and not in the flesh.)
I understand: I have my own phobias. What I should have said is that they’re not as dangerous as they look.
Betty, you should get a kitteh. My orange kitteh, Inji, would eat any spiders that came inside, when we lived in Maryland.
Most. Awsome. Spider. Ever. http://youtu.be/d_yYC5r8xMI
We must be twins from a different mother! When I was a kid, my uncle (just 18 mo. older) used to chase me and put nightcrawlers down my back. He thought it was hilarious. I also had a recurring nightmare of being in a Woolworth store and everything was covered with snakes.
P.S. That unknown snake in the barstools box is particularly horrifying. Okay, my skin is starting to crawl.
Yep. It is rare that LEOs are in the top 10 most dangerous jobs.
I actually think jellyfish are beautiful. I don’t swim too often in environments where they show up, so that’s probably why I’m not particularly squicked out by them.
Also, they’re really tasty!
Thank you for RUINING MY WHOLE DAY.
That is a golden silk orb weaver. They’re very distinctive. They’re an invasive species that came from Hawaii. They are the largest web weaving ‘true’ spider (tarantulas don’t count, basically). ‘Banana spider’ is a name that gets tacked onto a lot of spiders, and comes from tarantulas who sneak into the US on poorly inspected banana clumps.
Golden silk orb weaver fun fact: That’s a female. The male is one tenth her size, and avoids being eaten by climbing up her leg very slowly while she’s asleep, mating, and getting the Hell out of Dodge before she knows he’s there.
The body of a golden silk orb weaver (not the legs) is about the size of a man’s thumb. Big, big spiders.
Very few spiders let their babies ride on their back. It’s pretty much a wolf spider (lycosidae) thing.
@jake the antisoshul soshulist:
That’s an argiope, pretty closely related to the golden silk orb weaver. Also a seriously big spider. You can tell argiope webs by the zigzag patterns in the middle.
We’re in the middle of a worldwide bubonic plague pandemic, and have been for decades. The definition of pandemic can be kind of weird. Anyway, there averages around 4 cases per state per year of humans catching the black plague from the Rockies westward. The disease is spread by ground squirrels and their fleas.
You want something a little more interesting? Look up siphonophores. For some folks, that link is going to be nightmare fuel.
Is it me or are the critters in Florida unusually large? That is a large spider.
Check out, comment #77, it has a link to the sweetest ginger kitteh in the world
Inji is very sweet indeed! I love her little face.
Beat me to it. I was gonna say, Jeez, isn’t this something Cole would have posted?
@MomSense: She is a Zen Kitteh, Unlike Boss Cat Yogi, she is devoid of any cattitude and will never bite or scratch you, no matter what you do.
I love her sleeping position with her tail tucked behind her paw. Very sweet. Boss Cat has some serious choppers!!
From the Wikipedia article on Yersinia pestis (the causative agent of bubonic plague):
The existence of plague germs in the SWUSA wild rodent population has been known for at least 20 years–it was something I read about when doing some research on plague under a US Army contract that long ago.
Two points: It is extremely unlikely for anyone in the USA (SW or otherwise) to be bitten by a rodent flea carrying Y. pestis, and even if you were, the wild strains have never had an opportunity to develop antibiotic resistance & are susceptible to drugs as venerable as streptomycin.
IOW, nothing to get the knickers in a twist over.
BTW&FTR, a hearty screwyou to the thread-starter for posting that photo (somewhat mollified by the prefatory warning phrase that kept it from immediately popping up on my screen & allowed me to skip over it) & a heartfelt thankyou to all the other spider-lovers here with access to equally (if not more) creepy images who posted only the links to them.
Signed, Uncle Arachnophobe.
And he is not afraid to use them.
One problem with you is that when people give you an opportunity not to be an idiot, you don’t even see it.
But don’t worry, you may learn — eventually.
@henqiguai: How can you dislike these?
@MomSense: Bubonic plague is endemic in various small mammals in California (esp. ground squirrels) brought by rats in ships from Asia in 1900. Very few humans contract it, but many warnings to avoid handling the potential carriers.
Thanks, Betty! I laughed so hard my cats fled the room. 10/10 on the funny scale!
OMG, put that shit under a cut!
Yeah, well that seems to happen nearly every summer in this state. Lots of prairie dogs and various other rodents, and therefore lots of fleas. I found a dead wood rat in the backyard last week; I’d only seen one once before when a friend asked me to ID her dead yard rat a few years ago. We both live on the edge of open space, so lots of critters of all sizes, from wood rats to mountain lions, and all within less than 2 miles from the edge of Denver.
We’ve had a relatively wet summer, for here anyway – that means a few more inches out of an annual total of 18″ for the most populated areas of CO. All the wild lands are green at a time of year that is typically parched beige, so lots more critters, and therefore lots more fleas. The news was talking up the appearance of tularemia in the Fort Collins area yesterday, and don’t ask about Hanta Virus…
Even with all that, my husband and I feel like we live in paradise!
@bemused senior (#93):
Not even gonna look. I just don’t like jellyfish; partially, as with the vampiric nature of arachnid feeding process, the feeding process of jellyfish evoke all sorts of sci fi/horror images. And I have a very active imagination when it comes to downside scenarios. Turkey.
Mee-yow! Smug prick alert!
Gee, I guess you’re right, the term really does only apply to dead eggs, even according to your cite it fucking doesn’t.
I also like how it says it refers to a dead egg, citing a dictionary definition that states the term merely means ‘the egg of a louse’. that’s some classic Wikipedia scholarship there.
sounds like ‘it generally refers to the egg’ is, in fact, the correct statement.
And that right there is why I’m glad I don’t live in Florida anymore!
Joy in FL
I am a very bad person because I laughed out loud at the final sentence in your post.
Thank you– I needed that laugh, and I sincerely hope you suffer no lasting pain.
Rejoice that you don’t live in the city; apparently the spiders grow larger there.
Dog On Porch
Julia Louis-Dreyfus walked into a street lamp while pretending to look for something in her purse, all in order to avoid interacting with two guys walking towards her whom she could tell had recognized her. She said she was knocked straight back on her ass, and as she lay there stunned, the guys just walked by her laughing their heads off.
@chopper: “Eventually” can be a long time away.
yeah, you sure showed me, with your citation that ends up supporting my argument instead of yours.
It’s funny watching one of you guys whose mission in life is to correct other people flail around when they themselves are shown to be wrong.
@pamelabrown53: I hope you didn’t take my comment as being critical. I was trying to be funny. Actually, I thought “not as scary as they look” had a nice ring to it. Kind of like Yogi Berra’s famous comment that Wagner’s music “is better than it sounds”. LOL :)
@chopper: There was no “argument.” It evolved, but originally, it was a joke about … nit-picking.
I doubt you’ll get it now, either, but do keep going.
Sure thing, Ted Mosby.
Most spiders are harmless. They eat smaller insects like mosquitoes that could give you West Nile virus. The more spiders you see, the better for you.
I love those Florida garden spiders. They’re too big to jump out and surprise you, they don’t seem to be interested in biting, and their giant webs are magical in the morning dew. Call me a romantic.