Photo of the Week – May 3, 2012

This little jumping spider was hanging out on an almost-blooming shell leaf penstemon plant this afternoon.  I happened to spot it as I was walking by, and stopped to see if it would sit for a portrait.

Jumping spider on shell leaf penstemon. Platte River Prairies, Nebraska.

The above photo was actually taken after several minutes of watching the little spider and trying to get the breeze, light, and spider to coordinate with each other so I could snap the shutter.  The below photo shows the spider as I initially spotted it – with its lunch.

Jumping spider with prey.

Very shortly after I took the above photo, the spider disappeared beneath the flower.  When it reappeared later, it didn’t have its prey anymore.  I imagine it dropped it so it could make a fast getaway if it needed to.  I hope he/she was done eating…

Trying to figure out if that annoying photographer is still there…

I know not everyone thinks spiders are cute, but you’ve got to admit, this one has a certain charm…

This entry was posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Photography and tagged , , , , , by Chris Helzer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.

7 thoughts on “Photo of the Week – May 3, 2012

  1. Chris,
    Always enjoy your photos, particularly those that show the little things I pass by. I do like spiders. The jumping spider eyes reminded me of all the shining eyes of the spiders at night that sparkled by our lights as we walked across the prairie during the night-netting of Greater Prairie Chickens. At first I did not realize it was spider eyes shining. Something most folks don’t get to see.

  2. I’ve loved jumping spiders most of my life. The first couple of summers in my house in Denver, I had a big one (Phidippus audax) who would fall down beside me in friendly fashion when I came home from work and opened the screen door. If I find a jumping spider in the house, I coax it to jump to my hand, and carry it outside. Thanks for this post, especially the third photo. Spider not annoyed, just interested.

  3. I like spiders. I have to. I live on a lakeshore in northwest Iowa. I, too, carry them outside when I find them in my house. I love to watch them spin their webs.

  4. I love jumping spiders! Who wouldn’t? When I was a kid in Chicago, we had a pet jumping spider named Oscar. :) Love these photos! Thanks for sharing them.

  5. Love the photo! The eyes are so strange but magnificent at the same time. I think it’s very cute, but a lot of people I know would beg to differ…


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.