Creepy Crawlies

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Australia is the land of snakes and spiders. If you want to get bitten by one of them, then this is the place. Basically they are everywhere, and I would say the chances of a bite from one or the other is quite high. Reading up on these guys I was quite surprised to learn how toxic and irritating a bite from some of them can be. I was also intrigued to learn that there are even water spiders who’s toxins are bad for fish. So the critters really are everywhere. The biggest threat comes from Red Backed spiders, which fortunately for me, but unfortunate for photography have yet to come across.

Anyway, what do you do when the kangaroos bounce off and the birds desert you… can always turn to the spiders, because you are guaranteed to always find one somewhere within a meter of you.

Actually they are quite interesting critters, and it’s always satisfying when you load the images up on the screen and see detail that that you can’t with the native eye. The colors of some of them are quite spectacular. But what is most fascinating is to see how they suspend themselves from strands of silk web, so thin its almost invisible. Incredible!

The most common of the spiders in our garden are Orb Spiders like the ones above and below. These spiders range in size from 5mm to 25mm and weave huge webs that span any void. At first glance they all look the same but the variety of variances in colors is quite astounding.



One interesting spider is this beautifully colored Tent Spider. It weaves an inverted tent-like web and then hangs down in the center waiting for it’s prey.


Another fantastic little fellow is this Darth Vader looking Garden Orb Weaver below. I noticed that they are particularly busy in the later afternoon and early morning, but seem to disappear later in the day. Then I found out that they are preyed on by Honeyeaters. So either they spend the day hiding out or  get themselves chewed up. It was only when I downloaded the shots of these guys that I found out how hairy they are.





The positive thing about photographing, and then having to try and identify these guys is the fact that you become aware of the spiders to avoid. I was stunned to find how many of the bad critters are common household and garden residents. So from now on, I will have a lot more respect for these critters.



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