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December 10th, 2008 - Winter Spider

Today I was helping the crew at Wood Lake clean out their back room, (and at a nature center that can be an enlightening and eye opening experience, let me tell you) and I saw a little cocoon sack stuck on one of the prop bags. I could see it had some little creature inside, I expected it would be some dormant grub or maggot and we could take a look at it and/or feed it to the amphibians.
I offered it to Leah (bug-oriented naturalist that shares my fascination with entomological discoveries and various weird facts) and to my surprise she TURNED IT DOWN, claiming to have too many insects crawling around her confines as it was. Humph.
Later I managed to talk her into tearing open the cocoon, and as she did, a yellow, fast moving arachnid popped out and scurried up the bulletin board into Heidi's cube. Sorry, Heidi. heh.
We both tried to get some close up pictures with our tiny cameras. I think she did better than I, but you can at least see some of the eye pattern and the enormous fangs in some views. 
Not sure what this spider was doing in a cocoon at this time of the year, maybe getting ready to lay eggs? I'll have to do some research on that. Pretty cool translucent yellow body that I know I've see before in a field guide. 

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