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Big Spiderwebs in The Capitol.
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Cellar Door


Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #1
24-09-2013 01:31 PM

I have discovered what appears to be a largish colony of spiders in The Capitol.

(If you choose to continue reading this missive from me, then please remember the words:



that are in large, friendly letters on the cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.)

And do please remember that according to another great guide, the Natural History Museum's website:

In the UK, spiders are not normally thought of as hazardous to health.



Anyway, pushing on, over the years from where I stand in The Capitol I have observed this intriguing web being created. I am no Arachnologist. But just in the last month or so the size and multiple locations of these fascinating webs has significantly increased.

For example, the biggest I've seen so far is located here:

  • Enter into the The Capitol from the main doors at the front and pass through the beautiful 1920's lobby.
  • Glide up the stairs.
  • Tip-toe through the Family Area.
  • Stop at the top of the stairs before you descend into the mayhem of the main bar area.
  • Look forward as if the old cinema screen was still there.
  • Glance towards the extreme right hand corner above the last of the massive windows. About 40 to 50 feet above the ground. (The South West corner if you have a compass orientated brain.)
  • How good is your eyesight? Can you see a complex group of spiderwebs?

They are approximately 6 feet by 4 feet.

Yes. You read that right. 6 feet by 4 feet.

And growing.

I've got a telescope from the National Maritime Museum but I'd look a right lump standing there like Captain Jack Sparrow.


I love technology but I don't have a working camera to take a photo for you. (Maybe some kind soul in SE23 land and beyond could do this and post on here?)

I've mentioned this to one on my mates that works in Pest Control and drinks in there on occasion. Just recently. When I did his eyebrows hit the ceiling approximately where the spiderwebs are. My mate, with his keen eye, observed multiple webs all around the sides at the same height. Now, I have seen all the other webs, I cannot stop looking at them. And they look fresh and they are growing rapidly in number and size.

So, being a good citizen I took myself down to the 'Reptile and Arachnid' room in the Supreme Animal Pet Shop in Ladywell/Lewisham.

Andy, the terrific bloke feeding the creepy crawlies in the room, was ever so interested in my information. I've given him my telephone number so that his mate, that works in the Natural History Museum in the Arachnology bit, can give me a tinkle. Andy was very sure that he'd be quite interested.

I keep a healthy distance from most spiders. I respect them immensely. In fact, I've got a lovely spider living happily in my bedroom that has been wonderfully taking care of the flies during these long hot summer months that we have had. I know where she lives in my room. I check that she is well each week and collect the dead flies clustered beneath her orb web. This is a very cheap form of pesticide and quite good for the environment.

I, also, think that the spiders in The Capitol are performing the same tasks. I've read that some spiders can eat birds. Particularly, those coming originally from the Americas.

Do we have some South American visitors set-up shop in The Capitol?

This has got me interested because of the rabbit problem in Australia. They were first taken over there with the first fleet in 1788. Having no particular issue with any of the local wildlife, they grew to epic proportions. I used to live very close to the Rabbit Proof Fence in Western Australia in the late 20th century, so I've seen first hand what an un-checked foreign species can do to the locals. Think Eastern Grey Squirrels displacement of the Red Squirrel in the UK and ROI.

I've mentioned all of this to the excellent staff in The Capitol. I've had a variety of reactions. But no clear indication of what they intend to do next. I think the best way forward is to leave them well enough alone and to get on with things. (The spiders and the staff.)

But I, also, think it might be interesting and wise to gather information about what we have got there in The Capitol. Just in case we have a similar squirrel displacement problem. But with spiders.

The purpose of me writing on here today is to see if there are any locals that have experience or have studied Arachnology and could provide anymore information about my sighting in The Capitol?

This post was last modified: 24-09-2013 01:32 PM by Cellar Door.

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billham


Posts: 115
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #2
24-09-2013 04:30 PM

I am almost tempted to venture inside to look...almost... Smile

Maybe they are building the world wide web?

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Les


Posts: 95
Joined: Jan 2004
Post: #3
24-09-2013 05:17 PM

My daughter has adopted one in our garage. I was fairly disinterested until she introduced me. It's the size of a small cat and being 'dad' did my best not to scream. She seems to like it, but has been warned not to pester it or pick it up. I'm still slightly traumatised from being bitten by one as a kid. I wonder if the Capitol ones and the garage one are related?

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Applespider


Posts: 283
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #4
24-09-2013 09:17 PM

There's an app for tracking spiders moving indoors

https://www.societyofbiology.org/get-inv...der-survey

That link also has pics of lots of spiders that might help you identify them. Apparently, it's likely to be the females lurking in the webs waiting for a male to drop by.

I like spiders... amazing creatures to watch.

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Cellar Door


Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #5
25-09-2013 09:55 AM

billham Wrote:
Maybe they are building the world wide web?

Yes!

That reminds me of my old favourite search engine in the mid 1990s




Les Wrote:
I wonder if the Capitol ones and the garage one are related?


I was in there last night. With my telescope!

I did not have the courage, though, to stand there gawping at the big web. And potentially making a big pillock of myself.

Oh, the big web construct has got bigger!

My Pest Control mate was with me for a bit and he estimates that it is now 8 feet in length and expanding by width dramatically.

And another one of my long-term inmates of The Capitol reported that one of the spiders dropped down via its web last Saturday (that's about a 40 foot drop) and then hilariously got sucked out one of the side doors when somebody popped out for a ciggie into their beer garden.

So, Les, based on that then it is entirely possible that your daughter's adopted one in your garage may well share a bit of The Capitol's spider's DNA.


Applespider Wrote:
I like spiders... amazing creatures to watch.

Totally agree.

Although, I still do get the heebie jeebies. And jump through the roof if some little bug hops on my skin when I'm looking at spiders. And I also feel like they are crawling on the back of my neck when there is nothing there.

And thank you very much Applespider for that Society of Biology link. I will study that a bit later today and start participating.

I'm quite sure we have something really interesting in SE23 to contribute to their database.

Thank you again.

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #6
25-09-2013 11:47 AM

What this thread is lacking is photos. C'mon, cellardoor, put your camera where your mouth is.

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Snazy


Posts: 1,504
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #7
25-09-2013 02:51 PM

Not anywhere near on the same scale, but I took some pics of webs yesterday on the footpath /alley by Perrymount School on Sunderland. Thanks to the morning mist for enhancing the hundreds of webs to see.

Not as impressive as the ones described, but shared on Instagram anyway, and now here.

       

And slightly off topic, but snapped at Sydenham the other morning, a curious little guest I picked up. (Image cropped from original taken on my phone)

       

This post was last modified: 25-09-2013 02:54 PM by Snazy.

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Cellar Door


Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #8
25-09-2013 04:21 PM

rhsdunlop Wrote:
What this thread is lacking is photos. C'mon, cellardoor, put your camera where your mouth is.

Absolutely agreed.

In my OP, I wrote:

I love technology but I don't have a working camera to take a photo for you. (Maybe some kind soul in SE23 land and beyond could do this and post on here?)

I'm not a technophobe. I built my first computer in 1975/76 from bits and bobs that I scrounged together through Tandy Electonic/Radioshack and Dick Smith Electronics (US and Oz equivalents of Maplins) in Western Australia.

I had the monochrome Nintendo Parachute game in my hands in 1981 when I lined up in Akihabara in Toyko to be one of the first.


Picture of my very old Nintendo Parachute.

And the list includes having begged/nagged/harassed my cash-strapped folks for an Apple Macintosh for Uni back in 1985. And getting one. I was the most solidly supercool geek back at Curtin University.

Now after almost 30 years of working in the wonderful world of I.T., I've started to go the other way. I jump on the interweb, now that I've entered into something like retirement/semi-retirement last month, a couple of times a day in the FH library to use this great website and the BBC Weather Centre and my favourite of all time The Cloud Appreciation Society.

Until recently I still had my original Nokia 3210 from 1999. It was held together with sticky-back plastic. To turn it on I had to stick in a metal nail file because the button had long gone. I'd dropped it on so many occasions and bits would fly out of it. But to my amazement it still kept on going. I got some new fangled Nokia thing last December but I only turn it on once a week.

I feel really liberated not being in the vice-grip of technology that I was. But I still read avidly in, for example The Economist's Technology Quarterly, what is shaking in my world and directions for the future.

But hands on. No.

I'm mostly hands off.

But I still love technology with a passion.

Oh, I've just realised that I've used this post as some kind of defacto therapy session. (I think my therapist would review my mutterings on here as that anyway!)

Thank you rhsdunlop! The cheque is in the post.

Maybe we could meet to take some pics if you have a camera? The morning is best because the sunlight pours through the eastern three windows and highlights the western side where the BIG web construct resides.

They do a lovely breakfast and superb Lavazza coffee. Opens at 8am. There is hardly anyone in there and I might even have the courage to pull out my telescope!

I'm off there soonish to meet with some mates. So, I strongly suspect that tomorrow at 8am might not happen for me! But I'll be able to give you my eyewitness report sometime when I've regained consciousness.

Or Snazy! You have taken some beautiful pics. I LOVE that little green hopper. I want one!

Maybe we could meet to grab a coffee and pics of the Forest Hill Superweb?

This post was last modified: 25-09-2013 04:22 PM by Cellar Door.

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #9
25-09-2013 04:24 PM

None of the mates you are meeting tonight could snap a pic with their phone and email it to you?

I'll give you that therapy session pro bono. Next one will cost you.

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Cellar Door


Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #10
25-09-2013 04:37 PM

rshdunlop Wrote:
None of the mates you are meeting tonight could snap a pic with their phone and email it to you?

Most of us have Dementia Tremors caused by alcohol. So, the photo would be rather hazy at best.

And I think that my Nokia 3210 was one of the most up-to-date amongst the old guard that I lurk with.

But actually my Pest Control mate's niece pops in from time to time and I have a feeling that she took some snaps the other night for him. I'll follow that lead up.

Oh, when I went in last night I realised that when you stand at the stairs the light is so subdued in the evening that you need to get much more closer. Certainly if you stand at the end of the bar on the right hand side then it will be entirely visible.

rshdunlop Wrote:
I'll give you that therapy session pro bono. Next one will cost you.

You are too kind.

And apologies for dyslexically misquoting your user name in the last post.

(And I just did it again! That is why you see a "This post was last modified..." to the right.)

This post was last modified: 25-09-2013 04:40 PM by Cellar Door.

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #11
25-09-2013 04:55 PM

I'm often confused for the RHS. It's my own fault for having such an unwieldy forum name.

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Sibelius


Posts: 63
Joined: Aug 2011
Post: #12
26-09-2013 01:03 PM

This has reminded me of something I like to forget:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthne...amera.html

We can only hope they never come over here...

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Red67


Posts: 141
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
26-09-2013 01:18 PM
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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #14
26-09-2013 01:48 PM

Typically sensational reporting from Metro.

You can get a nasty bite but not likely to lose a limb and much less bothersome than a wasp say:
The truth about false widow spiders

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Cellar Door


Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #15
27-09-2013 09:24 AM

Spidey Report

Many apologies that I did not get to write on the web growth yesterday. I decided to head down to Portsmouth to view the christening of the last of the Royal Navy's new Type 45 warships.

(HMS Duncan is beautiful. As Mr. T might say, I pity any fool that decides to take that on!
Just as an aside I love the names that the Royal Navy come up with for these destoyers - HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond, HMS Dragon and HMS Defender. My all time favourite is still HMS Surprise! Probably made most famous from the Peter Weir movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World".)

Now then, onto more pressing and important matters.

I popped into The Capitol after I got back from Portsmouth. No major developments with the web. And I am keeping a beady eye out for the one that "stepped out" into the garden last weekend. My eyesight is shot and I'm about to get some new distance spectacles so I'll be able to be a bit more clear about what is happening 40 or so feet above the ground.

Sibelius Wrote:
This has reminded me of something I like to forget...

I'm so glad I left Oz. That is a shocker. I've now got the heebie jeebies all over again. And want to check under the table here in the library just in case one is lurking there. I have to resist the irrational! Thanks for the link though. Very interesting.

And cheers for the links, too, Red67 and lacb.

I were bitten by a False Black Widow in my old office up in Marylebone. It was a teeny, tiny baby. So, cute. Not much bigger than the full-stop at the end of this sentence. But the localised swelling for about 1 hour had all my colleagues amazed. And I felt slightly ill for a bit but not enough to be sent home for the day. Doggoneit!

Gonna drop by The Capitol for a Lavazza coffee now to see if I can see anything with the Superweb in the lovely early Autumn sunshine.

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 511
Joined: May 2012
Post: #16
30-09-2013 01:05 PM

Bejeeziz, that's a bliddy big spider web!!! Is it a prop on loan from Hammer House of Horror?

Edited to use the word 'bliddy' as I forgot SE23.com doesn't like 'b****y'. (Didn't want you thinking I'd said something outrageous!)

This post was last modified: 30-09-2013 01:07 PM by Mr_Numbers.

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