I wanted to get out and get some exercise today, and also see how the local spider populations are doing. It was not a great outing — the horticulture garden is closed, as is Pomme de Terre park, so the usual haunts where I can go for a nice long walk and see lots of varieties of habitats were inaccessible. I finally ended up at East Side Park, a small central city park, mostly mowed grass, kiddie play structures, and an assortment of picnic tables. Not the best sort of place for wild spiders. Also, it’s been a bit neglected during the pandemic. I saw lots of broken glass (someone snuck out there with the cooking sherry, I noticed), so not entirely the best place for kids right now.
I needed the exercise. I found I’m out of shape from my winter’s languor. I was either in a half crouch, stooped over, or standing on tip-toe holding up my camera, in order to take these photos, and I was trembling after 10 minutes, so I’d just aim and take a dozen photos hoping one of them would be usable.
The park does have a big ol’ band shell, though, and I crawled around that for a while and found 4 different species without looking too hard. It’s a rather grungy structure right now, needing a good power wash, and I found lots of webs clotted with dead insects, especially mosquitos, draped all over the walls. Most of them looked ancient, probably from last summer.
But there were a few new spiders living there! I found 4 species on the side of this one building and you can see the photos on Patreon and also on Instagram and under the #InverteFest tag and the Spiders of Minnesota page. I’m not hiding them, I’m just trying to avoid sticking spiders in the faces of arachnophobes here.