My First Spiny Orb Weaver


They say that one should try to enjoy a 'sweet spot' every day. Well, when possible, I try to get a walk in the back yard while the summer days are still abundant. After 16 years here, I had begun to think I had seen most every kind of bug there is in our area. Until last week!

Last week, I tiptoed through the creek to get to the woods on the other side. The heat this summer has been relentless so the leaves and twigs snapped and crunched underfoot more than usual. It is the time of the year when the cicadas are buzzing in the trees and the mosquitoes are humming in ones ear even in the middle of the day.

I was curious to see what moss was left to replace a patch that died off in my terrarium when some webbing on a stick caught my eye. I paused right before I ended up walking right into a web strung across the path. Curious to know what kind of spider would have been able to make such a wide web, I looked back and forth.

All I could see was a bit of something caught in the web.

But upon closer inspection, the bit of something wasn't a lumpy old catch from a hiding spider...but the spider itself!

What a curious lumpy thing!

The black and white tiny lumpy, spiky spider was the strangest spider I had seen by far. Hanging upside down on the webbing, it was small and holding still like it was sleeping. Quickly taking my camera out, I tried to take a clear picture so I could look it up later.

I had only imagined spiders like this in the tropics. The black spikes all around the white mottled abdomen seemed like something out of a comic book. As the mosquitoes gathered to celebrate my find, they soon drove me back to the house.

For the next two days, rain came and went while I discovered that this was a spiny orb weaver. Wishing I had taken my camera proper, I dreamed of finding it as soon as the weather broke so I could take a proper picture of it. But the research I read told me that they are the rambling sort and move to a new web spot every week.

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Once the weather cleared, I dared to walk back with my camera.

Miraculously, I managed to find the web AND my spiky little friend! I couldn't believe my luck!

Everyone I knew heard of my discovery, much to their chagrin. I respected that my circles are not the kind to see the cuteness of such a creature. But I couldn't help it!

My point is not to bore you with details of spiny orb weavers but to share my spot of joy. We all have certain things that excite us and hold our attention aside from the normal run of daily life. And I feel that we have become too self-conscious about these things and may have even slipped into habits of hiding them from almost everyone around us.

I know I, for one, am guilty of it!

So I hope that by simply sharing this it helps you not only see some of my quirky hobbies but empowers you to know that it's OKAY to share your own quirky sweet spots with the world! We are all made to be unique, just like this s

piny orb weaver, and that is such a wonderful thing! We should weave a web wide across the walkway of our world so that everyone has to stop or run headlong into a web of our own wonderfulness!

Have you ever felt different like this odd looking little spider?

Let me know in the comments. How have you come to terms with your own uniqueness? I'd love to hear! Tweet at me @aully1 and let me know all about it!

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