Community Resilience, Self-Reliance, Renewable Energy & Cooperation
Anyone who lives in or visits the Ozarks invariably notices that we have a lot of spiders. They’re in our gardens, fields, meadows, pastures and woodlands; and sometimes, they’re even in our homes. Love them or hate them, life in the Ozarks just wouldn’t be the same without a few wispy strands of spider silk brushing across your face on a woodland walk or the sight of a dewy meadow strung with thousands of glistening hammock-like webs strung by the Sheet-web spider (Linyphiidae). Of course, living in Missouri provides plenty of opportunities to encounter and learn about at least a few of the 300 species of spiders that call the Ozarks home.
Some of the incredible spiders found in the Ozarks include species like the Spotted Fishing Spider (Dolomedes triton), which walks on water and dives for prey. Triangulate Orb Weavers (Verrucosa arenata) and Spiny-Bellied Orb Weavers (Micrathena gracilis) are small, shy spiders whose carapaces are decorated with unusual and fantastic knobs, spikes and bumps. Some of these spiders are also quite colorful.
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Jill Henderson is an artist, author and naturalist with a passion for wild edible and medicinal plants, organic gardening, seed saving and sustainable agriculture. She currently authors and edits the blog Show Me Oz: The Very Best of the Ozarks (http://showmeoz.wordpress.com), which focuses on building community around sustainable ideals relevant to the people of the Ozarks region and beyond. She has written three books: The Healing Power of Kitchen Herbs, The Garden Seed Saving Guide and A Journey of Seasons. Available in print and ebook