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Stories, not Atoms

The poet Muriel Rukeyser once wrote, “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” The BugLady sees lots of tableaux unfolding as she ambles across the landscape. Because she was taught, at an impressionable age, by a professor who said “Don’t just tell them what it is, tell them ‘what about it,’” she tries to read the stories and understand the “what-about-its”

Dark Fishing Spider

The Dark Fishing Spider is one BugLady’s favorite spiders (even though it isn’t even a crab spider). First of all, it’s beautiful. Second, it’s big, one of the biggest in North America – the leg-span of a large female can approach four inches! Third, it’s a challenge to sneak up on and photograph.

Speed-dating the Spiders – Variegated Spider

The BugLady found this striking spider at Riveredge Nature Center one early summer day. What it lacks in size (it’s less than ½”), it surely makes up for in beauty (thanks for the ID, BugFan Mike). There’s not a lot of information out there about the Variegated spider (Sergiolus capulatus). Only one source gave it a common name, but most of the other species in its family don’t have common names, either.

Speed-dating the Spiders III, the Orchard Spider

The BugLady photographed this pretty, little, spider in the wilds of Ohio in June, and then found more in Wisconsin in August. When BugFan Mike ID’d it for her, he said “I love it because it is one of the few WI spiders I can also see in Panama! It should get more common here with global warming.”

Bugs in the News V

Thanks to all of you who send links to interesting articles about bugs (there have been a bunch, lately, about the dramatic decline of insect populations). This week we’re going to take a look at a selection of these articles and bugs.

Cross Orbweaver Spider

The BugLady is literally surrounded by Cross Orbweavers (Araneus diadematus). Egg cases were attached to the house and porch last fall, and masses of spiderlings emerged in early summer; she often has to break through a web to get out the door. In her research, the BugLady has seen this group labeled as orbweavers, orb-weavers, and orb weavers, even within the scientific community; she’ll use “orbweavers” because it annoys Spellcheck).

More Scenes of Summer

OK – it’s September, but the bug season isn’t over yet. Outside of wetlands, if there’s anything better than a walk on the prairie, surrounded by Big Bluestem grass, with big Common Green Darners and Black Saddlebags dragonflies overhead, the BugLady hasn’t found it yet. Here is another batch of summer images, mostly from prairies.

Summer Survey

The BugLady is spending as much time as she can in the field (and the rest of it editing pictures) because, you know, the Summer Solstice has passed, and a little wave of warblers moved through her yard the other day, and winter is coming. Many of these beauties have already starred in their own BOTW. In a nutshell – there’s a whole lot of romance in the air.

Speed-Dating the Spiders II – Ghost Spiders

This is the second of an occasional series begun last week with house spiders, and (belatedly) titled “Speed-dating the Spiders.” In this weeks Bug of the Week, the BugLady is looking at Ghost Spiders, nocturnal spiders that have a pale appearance. There are 500 different species globally, but only 37 in North America.

Common House Spider

“House spider” is, of course, a name that’s applied to lots of different species in lots of different countries. Today, The BugLady takes a look at the Parasteatoda tepidariorum, or the Common House Spider. Because they hang around human habitation, they are the most encountered spider by people in North America.