Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Nature Study BOTCHED

I really am just FAILING at Nature studies and it is really showing me how desperately I need to learn more about nature! So last week on our way out of church, right outside the door, we saw THIS...

HATE spiders!!! But even I have to admit this is a beautiful creature! It really is the prettiest spider I have ever seen! It is also close to the largest EVER! It is certainly the largest I have ever seen in the wild. I have seen bird spiders and tarantulas at zoos and museums but this was a big as a doorknob. I had the boys come over and watch it for a while and I happened to have my camera so I took some pictures. I wish I could have gotten closer and less blurry but I have a terrible camera. 

I thought this spider would be easy to find in the field guide. While we were studying it, a crowd gathered. Everyone around me seemed to agree it was a Banana Spider. When I got home I tried to find "Banana Spider" in our field guide. No luck! I Googled "Banana Spider". I got a bunch of articles with no pictures. Finally I went to Google Images and typed in "Florida Banana Spider". Here is what I got. There it was, mixed in the mess of pictures. I had found it. So, I clicked on the pictures that looked like our spider to see if there was one that matched. Most of them where blogs and other amateur sites. Then I found this. There are 2 spiders on there that look almost the same. I looked at the first one and scrolled down no farther. It said, Golden Silk Spider or Banana Spider. I thought I had my bug, er, arachnid. My son made a beautiful page in his nature notebook about it. 

The next morning, I heard my 7yo showing off his work to my brother in law. My BIL said, "That is not a banana spider. That is just a common garden spider." I hurried out to the living room to show him he was wrong. I mean what does he know? He is from Missouri. He doesn't know our Florida spiders. I mean look at that spider! There is NOTHING common about it! I got out the Field Guide again. I was going to look up "Garden Spider" so I could show him a picture of some boring looking brown spider or whatever looked more common. Guess what I saw that I had not seen when I was looking for "Banana Spider"????

YUP!!!!!! I botched ANOTHER nature study!!!!! FAIL! But what can I say for myself. My BIL was homeschooled, I went to public school... 

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