These eight-legged fiends were dutifully and bravely documented with the camera. Hurrah for image stabilisation as there was much camera shake with all of those eyes upon me. A couple of them seemed to be chomping away on what looked to have once been bees. Actually I must confess to not getting the heebie-jeebies from garden spiders, they are rather pretty.
These all seem to be variations on the orb-weaving garden spider but I would be grateful for more specific IDs from my esteemed readers. These creatures spin large round webs which look so lovely in the dew or frost. They are no doubt less appealing to any hapless insect that flies in to them and sticks there waiting to have the life sucked out of them.
Harking back to the olden days once again, it seems “pudders” had their uses. Apparently a spider in a stable prevents horses from going lame. Cures for fevers included eating a live spider in a spoonful of jam, or wearing a “necklace” of live spiders until they all died. Whooping cough was supposedly cured by putting a spider in a box until it died. So now who is more horrid, spiders or people? Rambling Ratz does not recommend any of these “cures”, please see a qualified doctor if you are ill.
As usual, Shakespeare has something to say on the matter, ” … good master cobweb. If I cut my finger, I shall make bold of you.” So says Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not only will a fibrous cobweb stem bleeding, but it seems they may have antibacterial chemicals on them.
Bringing spiders and their uses up to date, how about nanotube-coated spider silk to make biodegradable electronics with medicinal purposes. For more information see here.
You may also like, or shudder at, my previous arachnid post here.