Monday, November 20, 2017

Tarantulas Wandering Through the Desert

Hairy Casanovas out looking for a mate!

Rarely do I cross paths with a big hairy tarantula that is unless it happens to be mating season in early autumn or late summer.

During this year of 2017 on the second week in November I encountered two of these large arachnids passing through my yard. It seems that the warm temperatures we have been experiencing up here in the high desert of Central Nevada have brought on their courtship later than usual.

When male tarantulas are on the move, they are erroneously thought to be migrating.  The females are home bodies and remain in their burrows.  So the wandering Casanovas may search for a distance of four miles with the anticipation of finding a willing mate.

The average lifespan of the female is 25 years while the male is around 8, if he is not eaten by the female after copulation.

Most tarantulas range in size of 2 to 2.5” (50-60mm) for the abdomen and 4” (100mm) with the leg span. 
Tarantulas are most often harmless to humans but if threatened or harassed will shoot sharp spiky hairs from their abdomens which are painful on contact with the skin and especially in the eyes.

People who share the desert with these large hairy spiders try to protect them because they are interesting to watch and good for the natural environment.  Their diet consists mostly of pesky insects that are ambushed near the burrow.

I bid these hairy Casanovas safe passage through my yard and hope they will find a willing mate.

Photography places me in the moment where I can share that moment in time. It becomes a life story as represented by my interaction with the scene. The happiness and beauty or the sorrow and strife; how I focus leaves a lasting impression that might touch the viewer on a spiritual level.

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