The wolf spiders are out again. Early I think, confused by late February sunshine. They’re dancing on the wooden sleepers and at the bottom of the fence. Of course, they’re not really dancing, but anthropomorphism works for me.
They’re all females as far as I can see, which is a shame because it is the males semaphoring I really like to see. That’s not anthropomorphism, that one. They genuinely are signalling to each other using their palps like semaphore flags, holding them out at various angles, bobbing them up and down to convey their messages.
A couple of years ago I took some in to Ivydale Natural History Club and then we set about with real semaphore flags to send our own messages from one side of the classroom to the other. I needed something short and simple for the kids to do, so I suggested we’d signal our middle names.
I started: . . . . . A . . . . N . . . . T . .
At this point everyone fell about laughing and claiming that I, the Bugman, was making it up.
No, my middle name really is Antony.