Spider with egg sac
We have many of these cellar spiders in our house—too many, in fact. I feel that it’s partly my fault because I don’t like to kill them. I will catch and release spiders outside but more often than not I just let them be. Which means they’re left to multiply and build more messy webs. The other morning I found two in our kitchen and one had an object that didn’t look like a meal. I was getting ready for work so considered just leaving them alone, but I was fascinated by the object and thought it might be an egg sack. Ooooh! I’d love to photograph that. Long story short (errrr… sort of) I did pull out my camera, macro lens, flash and a large corning ware dish. I caught each spider and put the female in the dish. They can climb walls and many things, but have trouble with glass and ceramic. The white casserole dish made a decent photo studio and kept her in one place.
Close up of spider and egg sac
She was holding onto an egg sack and here are some pictures. I thought the pattern on the eggs was really something; they were certainly not what I’d expected. In many ways, these are uninteresting spiders. They don’t have much color, are extremely common, and leave their messy webs everywhere. As is often the case, however, there can be something interesting when you look very closely.
Female and male cellar spiders
The second was definitely a male, possibly her mate although she wasn’t particularly interested in him. She seemed pretty upset to be in the dish. After I snapped several shots I released them both outside.
I’ve recently had several changes in my life, but they’ve been for the better. The first of September I left my job of almost three years and started a new one. In the process I also got a very different schedule; I’m working noon to 8:30. I do leave earlier on the two days of the week that I teach clogging; my bosses knew of my classes before I started and were fine with that. I’ve adjusted OK to this schedule, which has it’s plusses and minuses, of course.
I feel the new job is working out; it’s quite different from what I’ve done for the last 25 years or so (working in the printing industry). Much of what I’m doing is not difficult or challenging, but I do get to be a little creative now and then and I like the people I work with, which is so important.
Along with the new schedule—having mornings free—I started swimming laps three times a week. We’re fortunate to have a large indoor pool about 10 minutes away. I’ve always enjoyed swimming but rarely get to do it, so when I started I took it very easy and gradual. I’m not a fast swimmer but I am a comfortable swimmer. I’m now swimming twice as far as I did on my first day two months ago and feeling really good about it.
This fall I upgraded to an iMac from an Apple G5 computer and I’m loving it. Along with the new computer I also have new office space—our sons’ old bedroom. Having the whole room gives me space for my photo projects and I’ve already filled it up. I’m really enjoying my new office.
The last major change—and the most exciting—is the birth of our first grandchild at the end of May. He’s now five and a half months old and never ceases to make us smile. What a charmer! He lives about 6 hours away but thanks to the internet, email, cell phones, and videos, we get regular updates on his progress. We’re looking forward to seeing the family at Thanksgiving.
Around the end of the year we’ll welcome our second grandchild, also a boy. The excitement continues.
The picture at the top of the post was taken in the fall of 2009. A solitary red leaf clings to an otherwise bare vine climbing a wall in Fremont, California.