Thursday, September 24, 2009


Every morning around day-break I take the dog out. It is a great time to see stuff.

Like this spider. I see it every morning. Same spot. Just hanging out seemingly in mid-air.

We have a little game going -- the spider and I. Spider sits motionless in the center of its web. I watch the spider from a distance. It makes not one move. Probably sleeping, I think, or tired from a long night at work. So, I try to sneak up for a picture, a really good one. I don't make a sound and carefully move to within a few feet. Somehow spider hasn't yet noticed a couple hundred pounds of human creeping toward it. I'm gonna get a great shot. I slowly raise my camera, focus, and just before the click -- BAM -- the spider is gone scampering over its web and out of sight. Spider wins. I lose. One more blurry picture to delete.

If not great with the camera; I am persistent. This morning I finally got a passable shot. I couldn't get the spider in mid-web, but did get an interesting shot of it working away at the edge of its web. I'll take it.

I'm not a big spider guy. But they are fascinating to look at close up.

I don't know what kind of spider this is. It is big. The body is about the size of a quarter. The web is well constructed and about three to four feet across. Above is a side view of the web. Not something I'd like to run into at night. Fun stuff first thing in the morning.


Cafe Pasadena said...

Mr. Spider is trying to trap the bugs, mosquitoes, flies, etc, which wood otherwise be trapped in our homes.

A good, dependable, selfless, worker willing to work long hours is always appreciated.

Bellis said...

What you have there is the coyote spider, Araneus canis latrans. A single coyote satisfies it for a month, which is why it just hangs around the rest of the time. After one of these spiders accidentally caught a movie star's favorite poodle, LA County introduced the leash law.

Michael Coppess said...

I am grateful for comments from such noted arachnologists. Great stuff both. Now that I know we have a Coyote Spider, I'll be more careful to keep our dog out of striking range!

Petrea said...

Michael, I learned from the Ibarionex Perello (, professional photographer and teacher at Art Center College of Design, that sometimes what you do is you find your location and your light, then you aim your camera at it and wait for something to happen. Seems like you're doing what the good photographers do and that's how you're getting good photos. Makes sense to me.

Michael Coppess said...

Thanks Petrea! There's a lot more to this stuff than "point and shoot."

Shenandoah bed and breakfast said...

Basically Spiders belong to a class of animals called arachnids. They have four pairs of segmented legs, and can grow a new leg if they lose one. Most of the spiders have eight eyes and they do not have antennae. Spider’s body is divided into two sections, the abdomen and the cephalothoraxes. The legs, eyes, and mouthparts are all in the cephalothoraxes.