Category Archives: Spiders

The Day That Sugar Rationing Ended

Hi, busy, busy today. I haven’t even done a flower post.

This is going to be my next one. (I think)

Self HealIt is a beautiful little wildflower called Self Heal. I chose it because it is quite an easy one and I thought that I could write it quickly and get it done today but I haven’t been able to do that.

Fizz has been pestering me to let her go on Facebook.

She has been quite a help to me and so I said, “well, okay then,” and I took her out today to let her choose her own wall.

Fizz's Wall

Fizz's Wall

Fizz's WallExcuse the quality but it was quite dull and she was a bit over excited. Anyway she found one that she liked and I think that it is a good choice.

Now I am old and I don’t really get Facebook but still I am helping her with the technicological side of things.

I have put a link to her Facebook page on my blog (top right) and I tried to help her more.

I tried to put some of my stuff on her wall but it isn’t appearing under her link???

My stuffI will sort these issues out for her, or I am not the technicological whiz kid that I think I am 😀

Now by all means be her friend but don’t expect lots of informative nature stuff, she is not exactly the brains in this organisation. She is more of “the cute one,”

You will get a lot of this…

Fizzand plenty of this..

FizzBut not a lot else.

She thinks that she will be good at this and maybe she will but as of today I have got 586 followers and Fizz has got No friends. Zero, Zilch, Not a one, Nobody at all!

In fact I have rushed this post out just so that I could say that. She thinks that one day, she will be the boss of me. 😀 😀 😀

So anyway I was helping her to register her account and fill in the forms and I said to her , “What do you want me to put for your birthday? You can’t be three. ” She said, “put 23.09.1953.”

Why? Well in the UK, following the Second World War, that was the day that… Oh! Read the title of this post!

There is such a thing as being “Too Sweet.”

From time to time people wander onto this blog to see nature and not cute little fluffy things… So here are some old pictures of a beautiful little animal.

Nearly forgot….


This is a Green Orb Weave Spider, Araniella cucurbitina.

Green Orb Weave Spider

Green Orb Weave Spider

Green Orb Weave Spider

Green Orb Weave Spider

Green Orb Weave Spider

Green Orb Weave Spider

Fizz and I are still friends and she will always be on this blog, she is just branching out a little bit.

My little girl is growing up 🙂

I am well aware that I am behind with responding to comments and visiting you. I have set aside tomorrow and I will do nothing creative at all, I will just catch up. Thank you for being so nice.

Fizz will probably be quite active.

A couple of comments are alerting me that the feed on the side bar isn’t working. That will be why my hat isn’t coming up on her wall.

Try this Fizz on FB

I know it’s got eight legs but..

It is pretty and it is very small.

FizzThis was the cutest animal that we could find today.




I keep reading that it has got no common name but the British Arachnological Society tell me that it is called the Lesser Garden Spider, Metellina segmenta unless it is Metellina mengei The two species look pretty much identical.

These two species are the most common and abundant garden orb web spider in the UK. So if you find a spider in your garden there is a good chance it will look like this.

If it doesn’t look like this then just put “Spider” in the search box at the top of this post and you will see all of the other spiders that we have had on this blog. (Don’t do this if you are afraid of spiders)


MetellinaThis is one of the prettiest spiders that I have found so far.

Spider Alert!

Warning: This post may contain Spiders!

Hmmm… What’s this?

Nursery Web SpiderThe great  thing about Spider’s webs is that they are quite easy to find and when you do find one there is very often a Spider near by. You just have to make like a near dead Fly.

This is the home of a Nursery Web Spider…. and here she is, Pisaura mirabilis.

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Pisaura mirabilis is the only species of Nursery Web Spider that we have in the UK so identification isn’t difficult. This one will be a female because I have found her guarding her web. These female spiders carry their eggs around with  them in a big sack that they carry under their body. When the eggs are close to hatching she will deposit them in the web and stand guard over them, which is where we are now.

I found a couple of these webs a few weeks ago but I couldn’t find an adult spider. Those webs were full of spiderlings, maybe they had eaten their mother.

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web SpiderSpiders are very into the idea of eating each other so it should come as no surprise to learn that mating often results in the male getting eaten.

He has a way of avoiding being ate and it is known as”thanatosis.”

Thanatosis comes from a Greek word which means “Putting to death” and it is used to describe the act of playing dead. Grass Snakes do it and so do possums and so does our Spider.

When a male wants to mate with a female he brings her a gift, “Eat this instead of me,” during mating he keeps one hand on the gift because he doesn’t want to lose it and if she turns nasty he pretends to be dead until she calms down again. Love is a dangerous game.

This particular Spider seemed to want to eat me or at least my camera, she kept running up grass stems and waving her legs in my lens, unfortunately she was getting so close that those shots were all out of focus.

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web SpiderShe is so cute 🙂

Nursery Web SpiderThat is our Nursery Web Spider and I shall be keeping an eye on this web for spiderlings.

While I was out here I went to check on our Labyrinth Spider, no babies yet.

Labyrinth Spider

Labyrinth Spider

Fizz and I have been out having adventures. Here is something that we found.

Labyrinth webThis large sheet web with a big tunnel at the back of it is the home of a Labyrinth Spider.

It is quite safe, we don’t have any dangerous Spiders in the UK and only a very small handful that even have the strength to pierce human skin and cause a bite.

That tunnel at the back  leads down into a labyrinth of smaller tunnels, hence the common name of the Spider and at the heart of the labyrinth is her egg chamber.

I am going to pretend to be a nearly dead fly and wriggle about on the edge of the web in the hope that she will come out and try to eat me.

Labyrinth Spider

Labyrinth Spider

Labyrinth Spider

Labyrinth Spider

Labyrinth SpiderI can’t get her out more than this without risking getting my arm bit off and also damaging her web and we don’t want either of those things to happen.

Labyrinth SpiderHer web is a marvellous piece of engineering and a work of art, I just wish that I could get deeper inside it. (Fizz held me back 🙂 )

Labyrinth Spider webLabyrinth Spider,  Agelena Labyrinthica.

Ever Been Growled At By A Spider?

This one saw me coming. I was eyeing up a particularly juicy looking fly that I didn’t think belonged to anyone and  well, it was hers.

Furrow Spider

Furrow Spider

Furrow Spider

Furrow Spider

Furrow Spider

Furrow Spider

Furrow Spider

Furrow SpiderThat is an orb weaver spider called a Furrow Spider,  Larinioides cornutus. An orb web is just a flat (normal) one spun between vegetation. The pile of garbage that she is being so possessive about is actually a shelter made of vegetable and animal matter that she has constructed to hide beneath when she feels threatened.

She didn’t feel threatened by me, nothing ever does.

It was this green.

“The unbelievable truth of tiny things,

is that they are as big as we are”

I borrowed that line from a poet. Now I am not a poet and nor am I a wordsmith but I have deep respect for them that are.

This is my best poetry. I feel deep love for these animals and express it as best I can. Wiver they ‘ave fur or feavers or something else.

Green Orb Weaver Spider Green Orb Weaver Spider Green Orb Weaver Spider Green Orb Weaver Spider Green Orb Weaver Spider Green Orb Weaver Spider

Lily The Pink?

Hi, I am just trying to make a Spider with Chameleon like properties defy nature and turn pink.

Misumena vatiaDamn!

Misumena vatiaNothing ever turns pink in my hands. I don’t seem to have that power.

Blue Tit Fledgling

What I am really doing is waiting for You tube to upload my Badger videos.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the very beautiful and colour fast Misumena vatia would like to present to you the very next post, “How Green was my Valley” A spider post.

Misumena vatia


Nothing to be afraid of…

Don’t be afraid there is nothing there….

Misumena vatia

Misumena VatiaJust the best Hogweed Juice this side of Coleford. Go on little Hover fly, get stuck in.


What’s that?

Misumena VatiaA dark cloud hid the sun and just for a moment I thought that I could see something.

Misumena Vatia

Misumena Vatia

Misumena VatiaIs it possible that Misumena vatia has finally got her camouflage colours right?

The cloud passed.

Misumena Vatia

Misumena VatiaSorry little hover fly it’s my mistake, there is nothing there. It was just a shadow.

Misumena VatiaAnd that is the end of the Hover fly story.

Cucumber Green

Okay the first one was easy (sort of). This is a Green Orb Weave Spider.

Green Orb Weave Spider“Sort of” because there are two common spiders that are visually identical, Araniella cucurbitina and Araniella opisthographa and it is most likely one of these.

It is possible to separate these two species with a macro photograph of the female’s underside but I find that kind of information useless as it wouldn’t help with the next one we find.

There are also a few other rarer species that look identical but you need to study their genitalia with a microscope for a positive identification.

So we can’t go to species. These are Green Orb Weave Spiders.

Green Orb Weave Spider Green Orb Weave SpiderAnother name is The Cucumber Green Orb Spider.

They are very small, I have just been reading 8 mm for the larger female but I think that includes the legs, they are smaller than that.

Green Orb Weave SpiderThey are predators (I think all spiders are predators but I will let you know if I find a vegetarian one), they spin an orb web between vegetation to catch insect prey.

An orb web is just a flat spiral web, the sort that you would normally associate with spiders.

I think that they are cute but then I am brave.

Green Orb Weave Spider

All about Today

This is just going to be a run down of what we have been up to the last few days and some hints of what is to come. It is going to be a bit of a messy post.

First, it has been raining. The last couple of days it has been pretty much heavy rain from dawn to dusk, without any let up.

I thought that I had a new Woodpecker in the garden.

WoodpeckerI got all excited and started snapping away and then realised it is the same bird, she is just wet.

WoodpeckerIt is strange that there is no male visiting.

This is where a pair of Swallows are nesting.


The Swallow’s chicks have hatched. The adults have been flying out of the nest with little sacks of bird droppings in their beaks, splattering the farm yard with them. I can hear the excited little chorus of cheeps now when the adults return to the nest.

Nothing to see yet, that is still to come.

Swallow's nest

I have had Fizz living with me for a few days. Her owner had gone away and asked me to pop in and feed her twice a day. She is not allowed in my flat.

FizzWell, I couldn’t leave her alone all day. I sneaked her upstairs, it wasn’t difficult as I had the farm to myself and no-one will ever find out.


Our walks have been pretty subdued as there was not a lot going on in the rain. More play than photography.


That all changed this morning when for a good few hours the sun shone.

Look at these golden fields.

Meadow ButtercupNot dandelions this time but Meadow Buttercups

Meadow ButtercupsThe Badger Track is filling up with Creeping Buttercup and so I see a Buttercup post coming up.

Here are a couple of animals that I photographed. I don’t know what either of these are but I will do very soon and then I will do little posts about them.

The first is a spider and I have been trying to get it for about a week.

Until today this was about the best shot that I had.

SpiderI got a lot of good shots when I found one out in the open today.

Unidentified Spider

Unidentified SpiderThat one is in the bag.

The second one is a fly. I haven’t got a clue what species but I got good pictures and it is very distinctive, so I should be able to sort this one out pretty soon too.

Diptera Species Diptera SpeciesThere can’t be many flies made out of marzipan.

This next fly I know well. This golden maned predator goes by the unfortunate misnomer of The Yellow Dung Fly.

He is like an old friend and so I find myself quite embarrassed to walk in on him like this.

Yellow Dung flyDo you think he looks a bit like Robert de Niro?

If you were a fly and you had to choose would you choose Robert De Niro or Rudolf Nureyev? I mean just suppose you were a fly and you had to choose.

Sicus Ferrugineus Sicus Ferrugineus Sicus FerrugineusOr..

Yellow Dung fly

(Rudolf Nureyev’s part  was played by Sicus ferrugineus a thick headed fly)

Moving on…

English Oak, Quercus robur.

English OakNow that they are in leaf these trees look magnificent  but see that little tree in the next picture, on the floor beside the Oak, that’s an Ash tree.

English Oak

The little Ash tree that stands alone in the middle of the field still hasn’t got it’s leaves on.Ash TreeSo I am trying to finish up in the fields now.

One last little flower and it is Red Clover again.

Red Clover Red CloverRed Clover is not just a good looking flower it is also good to eat. It has got to have it’s own foraging post.

22Now that’s a pretty picture but you can’t eat the Buttercups. They are poisonous, not fatal but can make you very ill and they taste foul. The worst poisons are concentrated in the yellow petals, let’s get rid of them….

Red CloverThat should be the end of this post but Fizz and I went out again in the afternoon, down the badger track this time.

24It was absolutely lovely, everything is covered in Hawthorn blossom , like confetti at a wedding.

25We were out for a reason. Treacle hunting. There were still plenty  about despite the rain.

Small Tortoiseshell LarvaThere are now five caterpillars in the Treacle-arium. I brought two small ones back with me this morning and I wasn’t going to have any more but this evening I found some really nice big specimens that I couldn’t resist and so I collected two of them as well. But that is a story for another post

Small Tortoiseshell LarvaMy hands and arms are tingling tonight from all of the playing with Stinging Nettles.

Now I have got to go and do some nature detective work so goodnight.