At just a few millimeters wide, this little striped jumping spider (Salticidae) would have been missed except he was busy scurrying back and forth constructing his retreat web on the very top of the sunflower plant just as the morning rays poked through the leaves of a nearby tree. It was incredibly difficult getting a picture of him because the wind was blowing so hard and would take him back and forth out of the frame of my camera. I literally had to wait, holding my breath for a lull between wind gusts so I could snap a shot. At one point, a carpenter ant that was at least twice its size meandered onto the leaf with the spider’s retreat web. The spider jumped out so quickly I thought it might be gone for good, but it had tethered itself to the leaf and was resting on the underside. When the ant left, it scurried back onto the leaf and started checking out its construction. With a bit of rearranging, it settled down into its newly created funnel. You really have to look at these full-size to see them (click on the photos).
A garden is the best alternative therapy.
“Soil is a living entity:
the crucible of life,
a seething foundry in which
matter and energy are in
constant flux and life is
— Daniel Hillel,
Out of Earth 1991
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