If any of you are spider aficionados, and yet not at the level of hard core arachnid scientists, then have I got a deal for you!
Yesterday we had a gentleman in who was asking us some ID questions for plants he had seen. He was from Minnesota and while he recognized a lot of our vegetation, some plants were new to him. So, we helped him out, and in exchange for our assistance, he gave us a copy of his book: Spiders of the North Woods - a handy field reference to our most common northern spiders.
What a great book! It is very user-friendly, written for the average person who just wants to know what spiders are in the neighborhood. And although it is written for the spiders specifically in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, the U.P. of Michigan, and the southern portion of Canada in the same area, it apparently applies pretty well to us over here in the Adirondacks, too. It has great photographs of the spiders, shows sizes with and without legs, descriptions of their hunting techniques, webs, and life cycles, some nifty nature notes in sidebars, and very readable info at the very beginning about what makes a spider a spider.
So, rush out and get your copy of Spiders of the North Woods by Larry Weber. I know I will be placing an order for my own copy very soon!