The Surprising #5 of My Small but Mighty Five: Spiders

Never thought I would say this, but I have a new appreciation for the spider. I’ll say more about that in my Spider Project Summary in another post, but one of the most helpful things in helping me feel less afraid of spiders has been getting to know more about them.

It probably helped that most of the spiders I saw in South Africa looked like this:

Spider craft made from a paper plate

Okay, without the googly eyes (actually, they’re a little creepy) and all black, no purple. Actually, more like:

Drawing of a not scary spider

Some spiders that looked like this lived on our very high ceilings. They were small (about 2/3 the size of my drawing). I couldn’t get a photo and couldn’t even find a photo or identification on the web, I think because of how not scary this looks.

Anyway, as even arachnophobes can acknowledge, spiders are really amazing. You can find many interesting facts, but here are a few from https://www.factretriever.com/spider-facts. I hope they’re correct:

The silk in a spider’s web is 5x stronger than a strand of steel that is the same thickness. A web made of strands of spider silk as thick as a pencil could stop a Boeing 747 jumbo jet in flight. (Let’s never test that).

funnelweb
A funnel web spider’s work. Australian funnel web spiders are venomous; the ones we lived near are not. These spiders, Agenidae, are very fast runners; the fastest ones travel
1.73 feet/second.

When spiders move, four of their legs touch the ground (ceiling, whatever) at a time and four legs are off the surface.

Spiders’ silk contains vitamin K, which helps reduce bleeding. People sometimes wrap spider webs around wounds.

Some gardeners say that spiders are the most helpful creature you can have in a garden because of all the pests they eat, including aphids, leaf miners, beetles, caterpillars, and army worms. Some scientists claim that without spiders eating the pests on crops, the world would experience famine.

So, there it is, my Small but Mighty Five: Dassies, Dung Beetles, Baby Animals, Hoopoes, and Spiders.

I wondered if paying attention to new things while we were in unfamiliar places would help me pay more attention when we came back to more familiar surroundings. Would I notice more details? See things I hadn’t really paid attention to before?

Absolutely. A small sample: goldfinches! hummingbirds! These have always been favorites, but wow! Also, have there always been so many butterflies? Fireflies seem even more magical. Even this little guy who barks at us when we run past makes me smile more

cute small dog
We call him “The Mindflayer.” He would seem more ferocious if he didn’t wag his tail so much.

4 thoughts on “The Surprising #5 of My Small but Mighty Five: Spiders

  1. Amy and Joe,
    Appreciate your interest in small creatures in South Africa. From my brief experience there, I doubt you could develop any affection for baboons.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very glad to hear about the giant strides you have made in dealing with spiders. Good for you.

    Godspeed Peter

    On Sat, Aug 3, 2019, 3:28 PM Amy and Joe Go to Africa wrote:

    > Amy Richter posted: ” Never thought I would say this, but I have a new > appreciation for the spider. I’ll say more about that in my Spider Project > Summary in another post, but one of the most helpful things in helping me > feel less afraid of spiders has been getting to know mor” >

    Liked by 1 person

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