Photography is a passion of mine but I do have a life and other interests. I am also passionate about my family, animals, and life in general and yes, sometimes that means some quirky stuff. I wrote a column on Examiner.com for seven years and with their recent closure I've been transferring many of my old article's into the blog.

So here you'll find a little business, a little personal, and a little bit of everything in between. It's all just a bit of a mish-mash here but I hope that you'll enjoy the images I share, what you read, and will return often.

~Gila

Please note that some images in this blog are taken with cell phones or are images I have been allowed to use by others.

To view my professional work, please visit www.gilasplace.com

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Fall Spiders

I live in the woods. And it goes without saying that I live with a great many critters in these woods. Animals and insects are abundant, some welcome, some not. But since I live in "their" woods, I am obliged to leave them to go about occupying their spaces, until they begin invading mine, and even then I am reluctant to do much about them.

And so we get to my fall experience with the spiders.

If you you are like me, and find spiders fascinating, by all means read on. If you hate spiders and have nightmares after seeing them, stop now, scroll no farther. and go do something else. You won’t enjoy what has become this season’s prime experience at Gila’s Place.

I have spiders, several of them, that have made a presence on my home and in the trees surrounding it. A presence that you just cannot miss.

In previous years I have had resident spiders that made a couple week showing around my place. But never have I seen these spiders, or the sheer number of them, or the likes of their forward presence in such close proximately to my immediate living space and the regular paths I travel throughout my yard.

I haven't identified what kind of spiders they are, but they are big. Like the size of a half dollar, big. And not just large in circumference, but they have large, round bodies which means they are heavy. I know how heavy they are because the first time I met one, I walked through its web and it bounced off my head like a gumball.

Yes, I instantly became a ninja until I realized it wasn’t on me anywhere, but still shivered for a couple of hours remembering the experience. Since then I have seen this same type of spider popping up all over the place with their large and fantastic webs. And they look super neat

And I have been watching them. There is one the front of my house just a few feet directly over my front door. There is one on the slope of the house, one by the side door, and my “friend” that spins his web by my basement door, on a nightly basis. I am thinking that he’s the one that transformed me into a sporadic ninja, and he's made his way back to his favorite space under the overhang of my lower entrance, even after his bounce from my head and landing in the gravel. Spiders must be very resilient bugs.  

Every morning I examiner one of the spiders, at which ever door I exist, and watch as they devour their nightly catch in the ragged webs they have likely spent the entire night weaving and running through like a racetrack, to eat their fill of the unfortunate bugs caught in there. The ‘fella by my lower door eats much better than the dude hanging over the front door, just so you know. Neither seems to mind my curiosity as they munch away, and they do not retreat when I get up close to examine them in all my fascination.

Tonight, while walking to my car in the dark, with only the light on my phone, I almost met the newest resident of my yard. Yes, another one of those spiders. Ry held his phone light on him so I could take the pic with my phone camera not having to use the flash. (keep in mind that he's as big as a half dollar.) I still shiver about the thought of walking face first into that web, in the dark, with this guy about mouth level. Buuurrrruugghhhhh.

And here is Henry:

Ryan and I had a nice time checking him out and I noticed something pretty cool when I checked out the close up of one of the images I had taken. If you look at the next image, you can see him actually spinning the web.

Can you image? Hanging out on a tightrope, and spinning said tightrope, just to catch supper? The ultimate survivor.

This web is between two trees about 12 feet apart and the bulk of it takes up 1/3 of the distance between the two trees. I cant't wait to check out what he'll be having for breakfast when I leave for work. I am also anxious to find out what kind of spiders these are.

 

 


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