Just in time for Halloween this little creature decided to make an appearance! The black widow makes the valley its home, much to many residents’ despise. Although a poisonous spider, your chances of dying are slim. However, the male spider is not so lucky. Once mating occurs between the male and female, the female devours the male. Hence the name "Black Widow." Capturing this picture was quite the fiasco. To begin with I was casually taking out the trash when I thought I noticed something floating. I looked a bit closer and noticed the spider’s web stretching from the camping supply shelf to the garage floor, about 3 feet wide over all. Naturally most people would find the nearest shoe and squash it immediately, but not this guy. I just recently purchased a new Nikon and once I noticed the perfect setting for a photo shoot, I was enthused with the possible pictures to come! Amidst the scrambling of lenses, accessories, and my girlfriend’s shouts of why I wasn't killing the thing, I finally assembled a tripod and lens. I spent the next 45 minutes conducting my arachnid photo op and practically gave myself a heart attack when I bumped the web from getting too close! I probably jumped the furthest distance I've ever accomplished when I noticed the spider jiggle and scurry out of my view finders range. Thankfully it didn’t go too far and I was able to shoot for a few more minutes. With a rapid heart rate in place I decided not to push the subject any further on its ability to remain in one spot. Well unfortunately the black widow is no longer with us and I'm sure she's built a nice angelic web somewhere up in the great spider heavens. However, a few more have been found outside recently along with some very small ones about the size of a grain of rice. Oh joy.
Stephen Miller is the winner of the Arizona Office of Tourism’s photo contest for the month of October, 2013.