Friday, July 23, 2010

Son of Cactus Spider - TRIUMPHANT!

Sad news, everyone. When I went to check on the spiders who live on the cactus this afternoon there was only one. ONLY ONE! Son of Cactus Spider now as the cactus monopoly.

God speed, Original Cactus Spider, where ever you are.

I was also able to witness something I had NEVER BEFORE SEEN. This is kind of a big deal because I have spent a lot of time over the years observing nature. I thought I wanted to be a naturalist. But then I learned that it entailed more than creeping around in the woods, dictating into a microphone, pretending to be Sir. David Attenborough.

What I saw was Son of Cactus Spider shedding. I didn't know that spiders shed! But it makes perfect sense: what else are you supposed to do with an exoskeleton that's starting to pinch in all the wrong places?

It was hard to photograph because he was twirling around the entire time. But here we go:

This is how I found him. What are you up to, Cactus Spider?

He was really twisting around in the "wind" - though I'm pretty sure all that twirling was on purpose to speed along the shedding process.

Here he is, peeeeeling out of those old legs. I imagine it's like taking off panty hose after a hot day.

He's free! and dangling from his discarded exoskeleton. He kind of looks like an octopus or something, I think.

He's finished! No longer floppy and octopussy - it looks like his legs are in full working order.

Good work, Son of Cactus Spider!

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