Monday, November 8, 2010

Take a Look: A Scientist’s Description

Okay, so last week I wrote a wondrous first person account of a lovely spider we encountered while hiking on the border of Hudson and Berlin. That means today it’s time for the serious third person description. Let’s see how I do.

10:14 hours, October 16, 2010
Gates Pond and nearby vernal pool, Hudson/Berlin, MA
Sunny, clear sky, 58 F
Old conifer stand with deciduous under story to the west, deciduous forest to the east, limited species diversity

Three photos of a female Argiope spider approximately 5 inches in diameter were taken on the east portion of the trail, approximately 1.5 miles from the trailhead. A male Argiope was also spotted, be he dashes into the vegetation before he could be photographed.

Photo 1. Slightly blurred image. Undisturbed spider perched on her web. Not the second leg touching the web so that she can detect even the slightest vibration.

Photo 2. After disturbing the web, the spider has curled her legs to stay balanced. She is ready to spring into action. Note the pattern of the web’s thread visible at the bottom of the image.

Photo 3. Excellent view of the abdomen as the spider scurries toward the safety of the branch on which her web is anchored.

1 comment:

  1. Excited about your exploration around Gates Pond, we took a couple of grandchildren out to explore -- at Gates Pond! Near the vernal pool, we found a newt(?) under a rock and later saw the white tail of a deer (who saw us first) bounding off through the forest. It was getting dark and cold when we finally left, but we had hours of fun. Thank you for the impetus to "Get out!" as you say when you sign your books. And when we can't get out, we stay close to the outdoors by reading your informative and beautiful books.