We walked into the lab today, and discovered someone has been helping. There was a gigantic lacy cobweb stretching from the sink across the lab bench to the microscope — we use that scope every day, so we know it wasn’t there yesterday afternoon, but had appeared magically overnight. I tried to photograph it with my phone, holding up a black heating pad behind it to provide contrast, but it was just too wispy and gauzy to capture. If you squint real hard you might see the grayish lines extending from the lower left upwards to the right. And if you can’t, well, you had to be there.
We looked around and couldn’t find the spider. It probably has a cozy cranny it’s cuddled up in when those clumsy humans come bumbling around.
We had to tear the web down because, like I said, we use the scope everyday. I’m hoping our little friend will web up everything else in the lab, though, because my dream would be to come to work in a huge spider web, the walls all cobbed up, and little spiders scurrying everywhere.
It could be evidence of of the SOE (Spider Operations Executive) mounting a desperate rescue attempt to free the Morris Prisoners.
Some day soon we’re going to arrive to Pharyngula to find that PZ has converted to the worship of Lolth the Spider Goddess and is inviting us all to spend a glorious eternity in the Demonweb Pits.
You use a microscope everyday. The “microscope” that is there now is not the one there yesterday; today’s “scope” is the spider you’re looking for, in her laboratory camouflage. Yesterday’s microscope, either a real one or else a male, was presumably dinner.
Reminds me of the Far Side with spiders webbing across the bottom of a slide “If we pull this off, we’re going to eat like kings!”
I have video footage from the future, depicting PZ’s inevitable demise.
“Some day soon we’re going to arrive to Pharyngula to find that PZ has converted to the worship of Lolth the Spider Goddess and is inviting us all to spend a glorious eternity in the Demonweb Pits.”
Fortunately, the Social Justice Warrior prestige class gets the dual-wielding feat free.
Will we find PZ trussed up like the Hobbits in Lord of the Rings?
Clearly the spider is attempting to trap a biologist to study.
Man, have I got a basement workspace for you!
Could this be the villain spider?:
From Inside Glastonbury’s hottest attraction: a 140-tonne, fire-breathing crane: “Powered by chip fat, this enormous crane — rescued from Bristol [sic†] docks — is about to become the festival’s dance hotspot. ‘We have no idea if it will work,’ say the duo behind it”.
† Actually, from Avonmouth. Which is not Bristol. Avonmouth’s about as not-Bristol as it’s possible to be without mutual annihilation.
To catch the web properly with a camera, without having stained the web, I’d go with backlighting
One can, at times, luck out with front lighting, but far too often, it turns into dumb luck with polarization and angles of flash.
Of course, that introduces a problem, when one is using a cell phone, rather than a real camera.
Note to self, two years without an external flash is a lot much, order a damned flash!
Get a humidifier and turn the aircon up cold. Nothing like an autumn morning to make your cobwebs photogenic!
Having said that in the UK we seem to have had a very mild winter and global warming is making global spiders. I was amazed to see an Araneus Quadratus that was already at the size we normally see them in October (with dew on their webs). I only noticed it because it caught a massive daddy longlegs in its web and dispatched it with ease!
If its its normal full size now I wonder if it will continue to grow until the normal end of life in four months or so!
I don’t get why everyone is assuming evil intentions here. Note where she put the web. She didn’t drape it in front of a door, like my evil spiders insist on doing to trap my face off in the middle of the night. She obviously was just curious about what y’all keep looking at in that contraption.
In other words, you have scientist spiders on your hands, and they’re learning…