Again, I spent another hour in the lab this morning, doing nothing but feeding spiders and cleaning up. I’ve been throwing flies at them every morning, and they’re still ravenous. I may have been under-feeding them. They’re growing young juveniles, and we all know how much teenagers can eat. The ones I’ve moved out of their little 130ml containers into spacious 5.7l living quarters are also doing fine, although they’ve just picked out one corner to fill with cobweb so far. Curiously, they’ve all picked the same corner of their respective cages, the one closest to the timed light.
I also did some cleaning therapy, scrubbing down a couple of benchtops. The place may be cleaner than it’s been in 20 years now! I bundled up some of the old fish gear; some got thrown away, another big coil of irrigation tubing was brought home. Maybe Mary will think of some use for it in the garden. There’s plenty left, but I hate to part with the PVC pipe and fittings.
I should have started doing this long ago. Committing myself to at least an hour of semi-mindless maintenance, even when I’ve got to set aside class prep and grading for a bit, gets my day off to a good start and soothes my stressed-out brain.
Everyone should do it. Tend to your spiders, whatever they may be!
Pierce R. Butler says
… they’ve all picked the same corner of their respective cages, the one closest to the timed light.
Spiders know full well lights attract flies. They can only hope you’ll leave an opening so the flies can do their part.
SC (Salty Current) says
Your illustration choices recently have been outstanding.
There went that promising new stain of penicillin…
When I see a pile of dead gnats & little flies on the window sill, I’ve learned to look up for the spider. The closer they get to the light, the better the meal. The longer they live there, the more carcasses for disposal. I remember feeling quite pleased for myself and the spider when I made that discovery. It took at least 45 seconds looking at the gnatpile before i got to “duh! of course!”
Now, I have awnings up around most of the house to protect the old people residing therein from the California sun. Not enough direct sun on any particular window limits the spider population.
Fuzzy jumping spiders get on the hummingbird feeder & run around to chase away the hummingbirds. The birds find me & hover in my face, so I have to check on their problems & fix things.
Big stumbling Vinegaroons cross the rug at night, it’s a shadowy Wrong Thing! & brings out the flashlight. Fast little scorpions walk up the walls. The wolf spiders, too. They walk up the walls & eat my long-leg spiders. I use the spider cup & send ’em out.
The yard spiders’ll have to do for photography. It’ll hit 70° in a few days. If it stays that way, it’ll be fly season until November. I try to keep all the doors open so they can get out.
Kevin Karplus says
Is it the light or the heat that attracts the spiders to that corner? I see a student project to design an experiment to test that!
Hooray ,no more Doctor Grumptynuts .
PZ Myers says
I’ve been watching flies for a while — first saw them earlier this month, and knew spiders would be coming soon.
I’m using full spectrum LEDs which don’t put out much heat, and are about a meter away, so I’d be surprised if they were basking in the warmth. Also, they tend to snuggle up under the wooden frame, in shadow.
Cooking and/or baking is the soothing activity for me.
Oh, and for my husband, it’s a 10-12 mile bike ride every day. Serves two purposes.
Soothes his brain after a day spent on the computer, working from home.
Works off those calories that I feed him after my cooking activity.
Susan Montgomery says
“The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Dr. Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health at the Department of Health and Human Services, the first out transgender federal official to be confirmed by the chamber.”
Someone needs to toast Ed Brayton’s memorial (similar to the famous Poe Toaster) whenever something like this happens.
It’s a good reminder; I need to get back in the habit of exercising first thing in the morning, just mindlessly grinding out the sweat. As it is, I’m currently wired to roll out of bed straight to the kitchen for coffee and carbs first thing, so it’ll be a hard transition, but so worth it.