Along Came A Spider~

Who sat down beside her.

Tarantulas measure around five inches in length, eleven inches if accurately measured. See:,weight%E2%80%94more%20than%206%20ounces.)

And she frightened (click/tap to enlarge photos).

Mr. Tarantula away.

Tarantula Hawks sting large tarantulas to the point of paralysis, and lay their eggs on them, which then feed on the paralyzed tarantula until it dies. Tarantula hawks have the second most painful insect sting in the world. This is the closest I have ever gotten to one even though they are here all the time. I happened to be sitting next to this one as it peacefully gathered pollen. Unfortunately I didn’t have my full zoom camera or there would be more up close detail.’Number%20two%20is%20broadly%20comparable,that%20of%20a%20velvet%20ant.

Reflecting pool Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage.

Sunnylands Garden Rancho Mirage.

Cheers to you,

from The Holler~

236 thoughts on “Along Came A Spider~

  1. Anonymous

    Beautiful photos, as usual. I’m seeing tarantulas around at the moment – a couple of little ones in the house! Happily, they’re very slow moving and easy to remove to the outdoors. I worry a lot more about the wasps, which I found were quite aggressive, literally chasing me when I was outdoors. I only learned about how painful the sting was last year.

    1. We are getting alot of tarantula hawks here now too. It is tarantula mating season so this makes sense. The hawks can be quite aggressive. I use the elliptical outside and they seeme annoyed by this and buzz me. Definitely gets my full attention too แƒ“

  2. That is one nasty looking beastie! For that to kill a tarantula? And you just happened to be sitting next to it, peacefully collecting pollen.. Whoa.
    Beautiful photos, though (zoom or not!)

    The sky is on fire!

    1. Thank you Dale and I agree with you. Tarantula Hawks are not to be trifled with. They usually seem really annoyed too, although this one was peacefully collecting pollen แƒ“

    1. Laughing….. Hilarious!! I live up next to the mountains in rural Southern California. Thank you very much for giving me a geat laugh & take good care Kaiti แƒ“

  3. That is a seriously impressive spider. We have spiders in numbers here in Norfolk at present, but although some of them are large by the standards of English spiders none are anything close to the size of that.

  4. Timothy Price

    Beautiful photos. I love tarantulas. I see tarantula Hawks in the valley, but I’ve never seen a tarantula in the valley. We have lots of tarantulas on the mesas.

    1. I like them too. They are peaceful creatures. When I was growing up, my parent’s best friend was a professor of entomology. He introduced me to so many wild insects and reptiles which created a lifelong interest in them แƒ“

  5. Very beautiful photos as always, Cindy! You were much closer to these creatures than I would be… The landscape photos are fantastic! ๐Ÿฅฐ

    1. They are wonderful: I especially like how you captured the contrasts, the would-be-hunter that is the preyโ€ฆ The water in the reflecting pool, and the desertโ€ฆ The red of the sunset vs the yellows and greens of the desert. Delightful contrasts that highlight the individuals!

  6. Anonymous

    Some intense colors in that Tarantula Hawk Cindy, from those fiery wings to the underneath of almost a royal blue. Somehow I don’t think they want to be missed. And love your sunsets, your place of the Holler has so many amazing secrets, I have no doubt you suffer so much in wandering such a world ๐Ÿคฃโค๏ธ๐Ÿ™

    1. Oops, I’m anonymous, I forgot to sign in first. It’s Mark Lanesbury. I’ve moved to a new host and a nice fresh load of WordPress…and the ‘system’ is still working like a Tarantula stung by a Tarantula hawk ๐Ÿคฃโค๏ธ๐Ÿ™

  7. I almost bypassed this post because of my lack of fondness for spiders. We have tarantulas up here too. More when I lived about 20 miles south and higher elevation. Fortunately, my dog, who is long since gone was smart enough to know not to mess with them. She also gave skunks a wide berth. I’ve never been close enough to any of those things to get such fantastic photos. Very impressive. The sunset? is stunning.

  8. What a gorgeous tarantula, so furry and cuddly looking, these critters have such magnificent presence, don’t they? But as impressive as they are, I definitely don’t want to be surprised by one. And those beautiful sunsets! Brilliant photos, Cindy, as allways. Warm regards, Susan

    1. Yes, similar to my experienc. I used to see them all the time as a kid. Then I never saw them again until we moved to The Holler where there are vast open spaces. They are visible this time of year because it is mating season ๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ

    1. The tarantual hawks are definitely more dangerous. For some reason, we are having lots of them this year. There was just a huge one out the front door ๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ

  9. Those are some crazy insects, Cindy. Whew!
    Great shots! What ever we think about insects, freaked out, grossed out…. whatever, without them we have no world.
    Nice post! โฆโฆ

  10. Iโ€™m in-spider-ed by these in-crawl-dible pics!
    โค๏ธ /โ•ฒ/\โ•ญ(เฒฐเฒฐโŒ“เฒฐเฒฐ)โ•ฎ/\โ•ฑ\ – ๐ŸŒต

  11. Anonymous

    I have been in the presence of both tarantulas and tarantula hawks. I paid much closer attention to the hawk. That is a very impressive wasp.

    1. The scientist who stung himself on purpose describes it like this, “If you get stung by a tarantula hawk, the only response is to lay down and scream.” ๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ

  12. Don’t like the sound of the Tarantula Hawk – cruel things! I always enjoy learning new facts about everything though. Thank you Cindy. Excellent photos too! Cheers. xx

  13. I ma not such a fan of Tarantulas, I prefer your other amazing pictures. Still you are briliant you took such a close up of the spider.
    I shall relax under the palmtrees of your other photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Thanks for the education Cindy. I’ve never seen either a tarantula or tarantula hawk in person. We have brown recluse spiders whose bite can eat away your skin. I’m glad they were playing nice with you.

    1. Thanks Alison. So wish I have my other cam. The photos would have been much better. I have never been to close to a tarantula hawk for so long. He was quite relaxed and so was I แƒ“

  15. Patty Moore

    Beautiful, fascinating, and interesting as always. ย Aaron ran inside a couple weeks ago, telling us to hurry and see what was outside. ย It was a huge paralyzed spider being dragged along our sidewalk by a bee of some sort. ย We watched the bee try to try to pull the spider into an opening in our bricks that line our flower bed. ย Then he pulled the spider up onto our porch, and after a long time – after we had gone inside – they both disappeared. ย It was a very interesting thing to see, though pretty horrifying, too. ย Such is nature! ย I always enjoy your blogs, Cindy. ย The tarantula reminds me of our three years in Arizona, by the way. ย 

    1. Aaron sounds very observant and perceptive. I would have loved to take photos of this and to meet you and Aaron. Thank you for your thoughtful words and stay safe and well, all of you. Give Aaron my best แƒ“

    1. They are placid spiders. They freeze when you see them or play dead. All they want is for you to go away, so they can run away. They are so rare in most places in California now. I am happy when I see one here. New Mexico has so many spiders. I don’t know if they are the state arachnid but the thought makes me smile แƒ“

    1. Robbie Cheadle

      Hi Cindy, great pictures. I enjoy learning g about spiders, they are fascinating creatures. Tarantula Hawks sound a bit scary but that is natures way.

  16. Those sunset photos! I love how you captured such vivid colours. I am never able to do it, and I admire those who can.

    The spider & insect photos are incredible, although they do make me squeamish…

  17. I think my grands may have pet a Tarantula – there is a bug guy at a local farmers market their mom goes to. Have you ever seen a Wheel Bug? Looks like something from a Steam Punk Movie ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve been bit by a ‘No-see-um’ I can’t even tell you what it was! I need to be careful around biters! Stay safe!!

    1. I had never seen a wheel bug, until your comment prompted me to google. What a truly odd looking critter. It does look steam punky!!! Take good care Jules & cheers แƒ“

      1. Nature is amazing!! I only learned about the wheel but a couple of years ago when I found it in my yard and researched it and found out that it likes to eat Spotted Lantern Flies… Hopefully you haven’t seen that bug!

  18. I was wondering why I hadn’t seen a post from you in a while…turns out Gmail put your notification into my Spam folder. WHAT THE HECK, Gmail??? Grrr.

    This is so amazing! I have a horrid fascination with parasitic insects and their prey. Thank you for introducing me to this new-to-me info! ๐Ÿ’•

  19. Pardon for my being so slow to the party. Haven’t exactly been having fun, but here I am in full appreciation mode. Think you are a tad early for Halloween, but you filled the bill, less you have something even more scary than this.

    Spiders I’m kind of friendly with, but these do put me to the test. Wasps, also no thank you. Too cold here perhaps.

    NOVA just did an episode on the evolution of our earthly Sky. These would fit beautifully in that history, especially that first at best magnification seems quite rightly neighborly, but not too close. Like mama bear, just right.

    Always always wonderful job you do. Thank you Cindy.

    1. Smiling….. Love your comments. Yes! This is a critter best appreciated with a zoom lens!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ Take good care Neil & thank you for stopping by แƒ“

  20. Wow! Loved seeing the close-ups of the tarantula and tarantula hawk spider wasp, Cindy. Amazing and interesting creatures but fun to look at from a distance…whew! Beautiful photos of SoCal, too, and much appreciated.

  21. One of my most vivid memories of growing up in Texas was a summer day when our back yard was full of tarantulas hopping across as they made their way from Mexico to wherever they were going. Scared me to death!!
    I’m so glad to see your posts – I had wondered where you were, and for some reason they removed me from your followers?
    Hope all is well.

  22. Once upon a time Cindy I was terrified of spiders… I couldn’t stay in the same room as one But I conquered my fear and can now happily catch them and put them back outside in nature again..

    As a gardener… we obviously come across many spiders and insects… I find myself apologising for ruining their webs or habitats… When you watch how a spider spins her web… We couldn’t even begin to create such beauty…

    Great Photo’s Cindy, I love those skies xxx xx Thank you xx

    1. I used to see them a lot as a kid. Then I never saw them for many years, until I moved out here, next to a nature preserve, where creatures are still free to be แƒฆ

  23. All are such beautiful photos!!! What a terrible thing for a tarantula to experience, being the victim of a Tarantula Hawk: terribly hurt; paralyzed; dehydrated; starving; then eaten alive! So sad. Where are we

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