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Old 2002-09-17, 06:41 PM   #1
Animation
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Spiders are Busy little ... Spiders

All,

Allow myself to introduce .... myself. Ahem.

Today at lunch, my boss and I went to some local trails here in town, located around an old waterways experiment station, that I think was built by German prisoner-of-war labor. I'm shaky on the history but its something like that. It may have even been a prison at one point.

Anyway, now it is a public park, and people mostly play soccer there and/or fly some RC airplanes. There are foot/cycle trails all back up in there.

So, my boss (bicycle) and I (muni) went riding today up in the trails. He was faster so he was in front. It worked for me because there were lots of spider webs crossing the trails, with the spiders in the center waiting for food to enter.

We knocked them all down as we went ... well Jeff did, with his face, mostly. Amusing. Then we became lost, wandered around, kept riding, and in some cases walking (when we had to, from fatigue). Ah, my back! At one point we were getting slightly worried but I remembered the right way back, or I was pretty sure (there are lots of trail intersections).

However, it couldnt be the way back because there was a spider web where we couldnt have missed it 25 minutes prior. We would have knocked it down had we been that way. At least Jeff convinced me of that. Makes sense. Still, we knocked down this new web also, but we didnt go down that trail.

So we wandered around for 20 more minutes, riding some, walking some, and we come back to the same intersection. Again, I'm sorta thinking we had to come from that trail where the spider had been, but it didnt make sense. STILL we knew where the park proper was, we could see it (but several football fields of possibly snake-ridden grown was inbetween). The trail we "hadn't been down" led that way, it had to, so I convinced him to take it.

About 100 yards down the trail we got back to the trails we recognized. That HAD been the correct way all along ... d**n busy spider rebuilt his web TWICE.

Of all the nerve.

On top of that it was a good workout. Tore us both up, lots of fun! And we weren't too terribly late! Wheee!

Edit: Cleaned things up to improve clarity, but I'm tired. I hope it worked.

Lewis
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Old 2002-09-17, 07:14 PM   #2
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Spiders are Busy little ... Spiders

HER web.

Somewhere on another web, there's a forum called "TrailSpinner.com" and some angry member has just posted a thread entitled
"Those G-D Cyclists... Of all the nerve!".
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Old 2002-09-17, 08:00 PM   #3
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Sendhair..

awile back there was a post about some huge spiders in Japan keeping someone from going MUni riding.was that you?
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Old 2002-09-17, 08:48 PM   #4
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Fun brush with nature. Gazzaloddi leave a destinctive mark, if spider silk fails .

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Old 2002-09-17, 10:48 PM   #5
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Re: Spiders are Busy little ... Spiders

On Tue, 17 Sep 2002 14:14:51 -0500, sendhair
<sendhair.b52nz@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Somewhere on -another- web, there's a forum called "TrailSpinner.com"
>and some angry member has just posted a thread entitled
>"*_Those_G-D_Cyclists..._Of_all_the_nerve!_*".


....and adding: they re-rode the same path TWICE! :-)

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Old 2002-09-18, 02:47 AM   #6
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Out in the woods a few miles away there are some horse spiders. They are about the size of a horse, in comparison of a normal human being to a horse, and a normal spider in direct correlation with the percentage increase of a normal human and horse.
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Old 2002-09-18, 08:23 AM   #7
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Re: Spiders are Busy little ... Spiders

Perhaps I am alone here, but my reaction to this
story is that it is childish to take such pleasure
in avoidable destruction. A spider's web is a fragile and
beautiful thing, and, more importantly, the spider's primary
food source.

What would you do if birds were nesting on the ground
in your path - smash up the nests and laugh about it?
It may be "only" a few spiders in this case, but I believe
you should try to leave things as you find them.


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Old 2002-09-18, 01:32 PM   #8
Animation
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Arnold,

I have to admit I'm a little perplexed by your reaction. Our attitude wasn't wanton destruction. Generally, the spiders were just about impossible to see, until my boss had driven through the web. We didn't stop and whack down spider webs that were on the side of the road. We certainly didnt kill any of the spiders. They build spiders across the trail where you cant walk or ride past. So, generally, Jeff would run into a web and destroy it that way, and the other half of the web would fall or hang. Occasionally, he would get lucky and see a web and stop, and use a stick to push the web down or to the side.

The only time we pushed down a web that we didnt have to was the one that turned out to be the correct trail. I can see where the way I relate the events makes it seem like we decided pushed it down when we thought we didnt have to ("Still, we knocked down this new web also ..."). However, that was just me just throwing down my general memories of the event. I certainly didnt expect to get the Spider Police after me, so I didnt worry about accuracy. The truth is that as Jeff was pushing down the web, he was telling me "this can't be the way because there is a web here." We had an exchange trying to make a decision whether to take the trail or not, and by the time we decided it made no sense, the web was down.

So, again, we didnt just smack down webs for the heck of it, or derive any malicious pleasure from it. On several occasions I know I heard Jeff say "sorry little guy." Jeff loves nature and often goes out in it. Me? I hate encountering chiggers and ticks and bobcats, but I like Nature also.

No spiders were physically harmed (other than making them deplete their silk resources). We could have just not ridden off-road, but then we would never ride off-road anywhere except in winter. I've always encountered spiders across trails. What, are we to shut down our public parks and bike trails? We several times passed webs that didnt cover the whole trail and when we were fortunate enough to not ride down the side with the spider, we left those alone. By "we knocked them all down" if you read the description, that was almost always when Jeff's face went through a web. The deliberate ones, as I have said, were only when the web crossed the whole trail.

Heck, even in my own house, when I discover spiders, I leave them alone.

So, you were incorrect to think that the "destruction" was avoidable, since only 20% of webs we passed were seen before we drove through them. You were also assuming pleasure in lowering them when, at least in Jeff's case, it was quite the opposite, and in my case it was only a practical matter. As I said, no spiders were harmed, and the glee happened only in your mind. The entire purpose of the story was to find amusement in the fact that the spiders tricked us, and we got lost.

Sorry to go on, but I can't stand it when somebody accuses me of something I didnt participate in. The suggestion that I might also crush birds nesting in the path was irresponsible, even as an example, because it implies that you wouldn't be surprised if I did.

Intolerable.

Lewis
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Last edited by Animation; 2002-09-18 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 2002-09-18, 01:53 PM   #9
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Talking

When I find spiders in my room I smush 'em.
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Old 2002-09-18, 02:26 PM   #10
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Spiders are Busy little ... Spiders

Lewis, were those actually complete orb-spinners' webs across the trail? I'd be surprised if they were. Seems more likely they were just the strands that spiders use to get from place to place, so you weren't destroying anything crucial. It takes a bit of time for an orb-spinner to make its web, so the fact that there were webs across trails you had just previously used makes it seem like they were just "travel" strands.

Anyway, an orb-spinner makes a new web everyday, so, if anything, you only made them miss a fly or two... not quite the same as completely decimating the arachnoid ecology of Mississippi...


Still, I agree with Arnold's "leave no trace" philosophy, but not quite to the same extent as say, Jainism decrees. I've ridden through many a cobweb, with no spiders or bugs attached. It's not the most pleasant experience, especially if you're all sweaty.
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Old 2002-09-18, 02:28 PM   #11
Arnold the Aardvark
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Re: Spiders are Busy little ... Spiders

> I have to admit I'm a little perplexed by your reaction.

OK. I apologise. Between the way you wrote it and the
way I read it, some misunderstandings crept in. Usenet
is full of misunderstandings.

> The suggestion that I might also crush birds nesting in the
> path was irresponsible, even as an example, because
> it implies that you wouldn't be surpruised if I did.


It implies no such thing. I was asking you if one action was
justified and the other not, in your opinion, as to me they are
the same. This query is no longer relevant.

Anyway, let's move on.

[Claire - my next post will be about unicycles, not what
unicyclists may or may not do to invertebrates :-)]


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Old 2002-09-18, 02:39 PM   #12
Animation
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Arnold,

Right, then. Apology accepted. And take mine ... I rarely get mad by things but when I do, I tend to become outraged, and over-react. Sorry about that.

Sendhair,

I'm pretty sure that in many cases, it was the food-catching web, because in almost every case, we saw the spider in the remnants after Jeff would sense the web on him and come to a stop. In the cases where the web covered the whole trail (and not half or less) when we "had" to knock it down (or else turn back or walk off the trail and risk chiggers or snakes), we usually saw the spider in question.

As to them building only once a day, I'm pretty sure that that one spider built at least 2 times that day, once within 25 to 30 minutes of another build.

OK, so enough Nature stories from me. Next time I'll talk about the guy with a metal detector who tried to tell us all about the history of the site and about how the government bulldozed the houses of a bunch of poor families. He also asked us how far back we were going. Creepy. I'm glad we came out at a different location.

Lewis
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Old 2002-09-18, 02:55 PM   #13
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Spiders are Busy little ... Spiders

Quote:
originally posted by Jagur:
awile back there was a post about some huge spiders in Japan keeping someone from going MUni riding.was that you?
Nope. I've never stopped anybody from Muni-ing anywhere.
Maybe it was these guys...


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Old 2002-09-18, 03:03 PM   #14
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Spiders are Busy little ... Spiders

...or maybe this guy...

THE GIANT WOOD SPIDER OF JAPAN... 7 inches/17.5cms ... Wanna Muni through this spider's web?
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Old 2002-09-18, 03:08 PM   #15
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spider-, not unicycling-related - sorry

This is no longer unicycling-related, but I simply cannot resist ... more info on spiders and their techniques of building webs:
http://www.geocities.com/brisbane_spiders/Garden_sp.htm

Have fun,
Fred
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