I saw 2 spineless critters today that I hope you all can help me identify. One was, I think, a fly. It was very tiny - 1/4" long perhaps and a beautiful metalic green. It was going from leaf to leaf of a neighbor's rose bush. Periodically it would pause and appear to lean forward and lick the leaf. What was it and what was it doing? There were no aphids on this rose (I think she sprays). Just now while watering my containers, I spotted a large sized, 3/4" long approx, very hairy, mostly black spider. It was long bodied, not round like a crab spider. It's hairiness was very obvious, velvety looking. The legs looked as if they were thinly banded with a softer black. On the backside of its abdomen, were some white markings. They were clear and looked as if they were meant to mimic something. The farthest up the body (towards the head) was the largest marking. It was almost like looking at an ink blot. He crept along the edge of one container and then seemed to hop over to another nearby container, a few inches apart. It made me think Tarantula - in shape and hairiness. Any guesses about this spider? I have to tell you all that despite past arachnophobia and this one's hairy size, I did not even squeak. It may not seem much to some of you but I am very proud of myself for this growth, especially considering what it reminded me of! ;-) Lisa Tualatin, OR
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