Sunday, September 23, 2007

Orb Weavers, Birding, and English Bulldogs

Grinning from ear to ear, I'm posting again... After an Autumn tease for a few days, we are roasting again. Fry an egg on my exhausted head.

Walking through an Orb Weaver’s web the size of Texas was the highlight of my weekend. I didn’t see it as I walked by the northeast side of the house yesterday. The slimy, elastic net pulled, snapped, and attached around my entire body - across my hair, eyeglasses, neck, waist, and legs. I could hear a rubber band popping sound as it was unable to hold me in its surprisingly strong grip. Waaaaaaa! Mary instinctively put on a show for the world to see of arms flinging, feet stomping, pirouetting, and head shaking all the way through the gate, up into the sunroom, and through the kitchen door. I wouldn’t dare touch my hair because I felt something moving in it!

Michael saw me running through the sunroom and thought I might be having a seizure fit of some sort. His eyes wide, he heard me yell, “Mi-i-i-i-i-ichael! Is there a spider in my hair? LOOK!”

No spider. But… there was a spider. I gave it a free ride into the sunroom where it greeted me this morning.


In the sunroom. In my house. I’ll have nightmares tonight.

Overnight, it made an elaborate web that was attached to the ceiling fan, coffee table below it, and the wall. I didn’t know it was there until I let the dogs out this morning and felt that familiar “snap” around me again…just a little snap when I passed through one of its anchors.

It took me two hours to muster the courage to remove it with a broom. It’s back in the bushes on the northeast side of the house now and I won’t walk that way again without waving a broomstick in front of me. I won't forget.


We’ve been in NC for two years and I need to get around and know the state. I submitted a reservation request for a field trip with the Mecklenburg County Audubon on October 13! It’s a beginning birder field trip and I think that’s a good place for me to start. I would love to join them on the 14th’s Big Sit but I’ll wait until next year for that! I’ll enjoy meeting new people in NC and discovering hot spots for birding and nature, plus, I’ll know my way around to find good images when I want to break away from backyard boredom.

I do love my birds and the life in my backyard…


L.O.L.! (I do have a good variety of birds, not shown here!)

Didn’t know that gargoyle on the lower right stepped into the photo…




The dark beak threw me off but Julie helped me to identify it as a juvenile Goldfinch. The poor little thing drank and bathed in the pond alone while a hawk watched nearby but I was there to protect...


Update: I count four now. The other ten or so have started their journey. I took this photo this morning knowing it might be my last opportunity for a long while.

I am grateful for what my yard offers, but I gotta get outta here!

~ Weekend Funnies ~

Bam Bam’s (a.k.a. Bamma Lamma Ding Dong) testicles are still healing and needed a break from roughhousing with Mr. Biggins. I took him for a few hours while Michael and Gina shopped around town.


Doggie McWanna Whiz on Weeds and Wildflowers

He laughs heartily at Chloe’s concern about his healing testicles.

Hula Hoops frighten him but he can’t resist chasing Bella.

I’m the b-b-best hula girl, ain’t I, Mom?


Unknown said...

Yikes, Mary! I'd have done a dance too. Ugh! I love seeing spiders on their webs but not when I have to walk through them, thank you!

Love the pictures of the dogs. What characters!

Chrissie said...

OK, so how big is an orb spider? Huge web so I'm guessing huge spider? Much prefer to see the pics of your four legged friends:-)

KGMom said...

I am just laughing--I guess, not really at you; hopefully with you.
Your spider encounters--too funny. I don't mind spiders at all--in fact, I like them, but I wouldn't want to walk into a web.
And your dogs--love those antics.
Now I see why you don't have time to read (LOL)-- you are too busy dancing with spiders and photo-shooting birds, and dogs.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Oh eeeww May! Your description gave me the shivers. Spiders are cool so long as they don't touch me. Or move too fast. Or if they're tan- I HATE tan spiders. And like you I got nuts when I walk through a web. {{{shiver}}}
I'm so excited for you that you're doing a bird field trip. It sounds like it's time for you to broaden your birding horizons. Can't wait o hear all about it!

Love those doggies!

Ruth said...

I was wondering about those off colour goldfinches too. I have plenty of them at my feeder. I don't mind spiders here at all.(Tropical ones are another thing.)My daughters are hysterical around spiders and I don't know how that happened.

Carol Michel said...

Count me as one who doesn't like spiders, either, and especially I don't like walking through their webs and getting them on me. I would have been dancing and jumping, too!

Love the pictures of the birds and dogs and am looking foward to the pictures you will get on your field trip.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

kate said...

Hi Mary,

That must have been a huge spider web ... it's incredible how fast they can re-build. While I was stenciling the garage wall, I debated and debated breaking a web of an industrious spider. Eventually I did and then felt guilty for it afterwards. I like spiders though.

Chloe, Bella and Bam Bam certainly look as if they have lots of fun.

Could you please send some of your heat up here? Brrr... it's getting chilly!

LauraHinNJ said...

Laughing at you (and Bam-Bam, of course)! I can just see you dancing into the house with that spider in your hair. Scary!

cat59 said...

Yes; she's the best hula girl! Love that photo of Bam Bam grinning with Chloe. Also love the photo of the little Goldfinch; so glad you were there to keep it from harm. Yikes. . that encounter with the spider and it's web sounds creepy!!

Mary said...

Liza Lee, I like WATCHING spiders weave their webs but...don't touch them!

Chris, with legs outstretched, about 1 inch - very hairy. I should have included a link.

Donna, I'm laughing now but my heartrate has been up this weekend :o)

Linne, I'm looking forward to it and seeing North Carolina!

Ruth, that little goldfinch confused me. I'm learning. Like your daughters, I won't sleep if there's a spider in the bedroom.

Carol, we've had enough of BEES and spiders, haven't we?

Kate, it wasn't hard for me to decide to relocate that spider to outdoors! I was nervous about sweeping it down, though.

Laura, I looked like a nut out there :o)

Cathie, Bam-Bam is a dog with many nicknames. His face explains it!

Beth said...

Good heavens, you make me LAUGH! You need to write a book with dog pictures and captions...though it would probably be for adults only...

I posted a pic for Bella and Chloe. Check it out...

David said...

Pretty soon all the goldfinches will be a dull olive color. Then in spring the males will turn bright yellow again. They are around in NC all winter, although many people don't recognize their winter feathers. I haven't seen my hummingbirds since last Wed--guess they are gone. Isn't this heat ridiculous, Mary?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post as always with excitement . . . . love the spiders, birds, goldfinch, puppies, ect..

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
I'm so glad to hear you've signed up for a field trip. I think you'll be surprised at how many of the birds you know once you get there. I hope you have a good time.

I don't like big spiders either and I also would totally freak if I walked into a huge web like you did.

I love those silly doggies....I'm glad to see Bam Bam is recovering quickly. It's good your girls are concerned and keep a good eye on him!

Mary said...

NOTE TO WORDPRESS BLOGGERS: I am unable to see my comments on your blogs... I think I'm being dumped into your SPAM inbox. Me? Spam?

Unknown said...

Well Mary I see we both did the same type of dance. I ran into a web on thursday and went running for Don to check my hair also. But you sure have a knack for telling stories and description captions.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Happy Autumn! Spiders in the hair is not fun!! I too like them OUTSIDE weaving their webs and doing spider things. Not in my hair...YIKES is right. I am checking my hair right now just in case..
How delightful you are going on a Field Trip! Learning the different areas near you is such a good idea. You will meet other birders too! Can't wait to see photos.
Thank you for doggie update.
They tickle me.

JeanMac said...

Ah, I had my laugh for this evening reading about your running to Michael. Spiders are a big no-no to me. Our (useless) cat will sit and watch one inches away. If I can, I carry it outside but if it protests, it gets a quick trip to spider heaven.

dmmgmfm said...

Wow, I'd have nightmares about the spider too!

Your photos and your captions crack me up, Mary. Thanks so much for brightening my day.


Alyssa said...

Glad you're back Mary! Yes, it is really creepy walking through spider webs. Always reminds me of old movies where a giant trantula (they don't even make webs!) comes down a fake web. Ugh. But a very neat picture of her/him, though.

I'm sure you'll love being with other birders. I have a work mate who does that and he really enjoys being with a group and sharing the information and the comraderie.

BamBam looks great and sure smiles a lot. I wish I could hug him - he seems so friendly. It's really nice that he gets along so well with Chloe and Bella. You are able to enjoy all your babies at one time!

Jayne said...

Ewwwwww Mary! Bless your heart! The mere thought of all that web wrapped around me would be enough to give me the eeebie jeebies, let alone it actually happening! Yes, they are big spiders... shiver.

Love the yard photos, esp. of your babies!

smilnsigh said...

An Orb Weaver’s web! Oh my, after your description, _I_ may have nightmares! Eeeeek!


dguzman said...

Eeewww yick and blech! I am not a fan of spiders or their webs; Kat loves 'em (and calls them all "Charlotte"), so I keep telling her to let them know they need to live elsewhere, but so far they're defiant. There's nothing worse than that "oh my god, is it ON me?" feeling! And notice how your spider has her legs all drawn up: "the better to fool you into thinking I'm small and harmless, my dear!"


Love your post and the laughs it gave me!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,
Yes, spiders are welcome in my garden.
I love the photo of your fishes.
My new blogBeckyis here when you have time to take a peek.

Dorothy said...

UGH, I hate spiders, I feel your pain Mary! My daughter Laura shares my arachnaphobia! We always joked we would give each other one of those Brookstone spider vacs. (But then we'd have to empty them out)......UGH!
The goldfinches have left our area for the season. I miss them.

Anonymous said...

Mary, I don't know what I like best, the dog funnies, or the spider web story! How do you get those great photos of the dogs?

I just looked in my spam can, and there you were! Right in with the x-rated stuff. From now on, I will mark your comment so they will fix it. For a while, my spam filter was grabbing Pam, (naturewoman), but after I sent a message to them, it stopped.

NatureWoman said...

I've been known to do the spider dance a couple times myself. I like spiders, but not in my hair!
That's great you're going with the Audubon group!! How exciting!
As always, I love your photos and words, Mary!

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

Really good photos!! I really like the picture of the juvenile Goldfinch. xoxo Nita

Mary said...

Sandy, uh oh, I hope they didn't throw me into the spam bucket because I said testicle or because I curse...sorry :o/ Glad you found me!

Susan Gets Native said...

Holy Cannoli. I would have ripped all my hair and skin clean away from my body if that THING was on me.

BTW, May I say that Bella's teeth are very clean? Very white teeth for such an old girl.

Sherry said...

Oh yuck, I hate walking through a spider web. I am laughing at your description of dancing into the house.. sounds like me as well. lol I hate getting those webs in my hair and for the rest of the day, I -feel- as if a spider is on me...

Your dog photos, as always, make me smile. :)

I'm looking forward to all the great photos I know you'll take on your field trip. The leaves may be showing some color by that time also, so I'm sure you'll get lots of beautiful views and photos.

(Your comments show up on my blog tonite, so hopefully you have been "de-spammed" by the wordpress filter!) :)

Anonymous said...

Sheesh, Mary, you always pack in a week's worth of posting into one entry! I sympathize with your "unreasonable" panic at having a spider in your hair. I would panic, too. As for those pics of your pond, I love the serene-ness of the photo of the bluish bloom. Nice bokeh. Those dogs and their expression plus your commentary brought a big grin to my face!

Heidi said...

oh my gosh Mary! I think I'm going to have nightmares just imagining what happened to you!

Beautiful pictures of your Koi and I like the rest too. :)

Julie Zickefoose said...

I ran into a spider web once in the fall and it stuck to my glasses. When I went to clean them on my shirt the web wouldn't come off. Soap, water, glass cleaner--nothing would remove it. It permanently abraded the lenses and I had to replace them. I'd love to know what happened there.
Did you hear that a woman who studies the different kinds of silk spiders can make just got a MacArthur genius grant?
I love Bam Bam. He looks like John Goodman.

Steve said...

Nothing better than a professional photographer who like the bully breed!!! Great site and even better bully pics.

Thank you ai look forward to checking back for more.