Arachnophilia

Up until recently, this season has brought me some fine arachnid sightings, but no good pictures. For instance, by the railroad tracks last month – on a day I left my camera in another bag – I saw a spectacular little daring jumping spider (Phiddipus audax), black with a blazing white spot on the back of its abdomen and shimmering green chelicerae the colour of a copper-tinted flame; and more recently, on unlocking my bike at the gym I found a little spider on a line with a leaf-green abdomen, which scooted into the bushes before I could get my camera out.

But in the last little while I’ve had better photographic fortune. In a ramble on the 4th of July holiday last week, I saw this fine harvestman, most likely Leiobunum vittatum:
Harvestman (Order Opiliones), Lakeshore Preserve

and this long-jawed orbweaver (Tetragnatha):
Spider (Tetragnatha sp.), Lakeshore Preserve
holding onto the stem with its short third pair of legs, just like the Golden Guide says.

Apparently, they can also walk on water. That I did not see, alas.

.. my country, ’tis of the
drying pools along Camp Branch I sing,
where the water-striders walk like Christ,
all sons of God, and of the woods grown old ..
-Wendell Berry, “Independence Day”

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