Sunday, January 22, 2017

Creature in my Kitchen.

     I was not able to bird this weekend as I devoted yesterday to showing the world what democracy looks like and participating in the Women's March here in NYC. I then spent today taking care of my companion animals, doing some chores, and putting together a pear pie. So yeah, no birding.
     The last week, I have been keeping a pair of binoculars on the kitchen table-- not to spy birds in our back tree, but to watch our newest friend, who has been squatting in our kitchen, an adorable jumping spider. This little spider made a little silken nest in the corner of the ceiling that it crawls into to rest and we have been seeing him/her crawl out to venture around the moulding of the ceiling.
     During my chores, and multitasking, things I probably shouldn't do, I took some time to stand on a chair and attempt photos of this little spider, because, thats what normal people do, right?
I really love spiders (and I admit, as a child I feared spiders). It is thanks to a chilean rose tarantula in high school that allowed me to overcome my fear and actually really appreciate spiders.

And jumping spiders, specifically, I find absolutely darling! They are robotic, they always look to be thinking, and studies show these spiders are pretty darn smart: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/160121-jumping-spiders-animals-science/

Jumping spider do have fairly amazing vision as unlike most spiders, they are hunters. They don't build webs to capture food, they go out and find their dinner. Their eyesight not only helps them hunt but also successfully make those amazing little leaps.
Some further reading on their amazing eyes: http://tolweb.org/accessory/Jumping_Spider_Vision?acc_id=1946

I also learned how dusty the top of our kitchen door is...

While they don't build webs, they still produce silk. They use it as a lifeline, as they jump, you always have a line in the case you miss. It also acts like a breadcrumb trail, the silk with additional pheromones allows them to find their way home or perhaps find a mate.
 


I hope you find this little creature as charming as I do and perhaps put your slipper down and think twice about killing a spider in your home. Mine always get to live, unless the cat finds it. Thankfully this one has been keeping itself up high and away from our predatory feline.