The images are highly compressed for bandwidth's sake, but you can click on the images for larger versions (and a few are much deserving of an extra click). As always feel free to give me any species identifications where I have failed to do so or done so incorrectly.
While turning over some leaves, I found this brilliantly colored orb-weaver, (I believe it's a Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus)). Of course, the Azaleas are in full bloom at the homestead, and are of course covered in bees, flies, and butterflies. A bee (Anthophila (Apoidea) - Bees) of unknown identity (I couldn't even peg it to a family - help please?
Finally, I found a nice specimen of what I believe is a Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) ootheca (egg case). Oh, and perhaps give a warning next time if you are posting spider pics….Christie may be afraid of moths, but I am arachnophobic! Biochemical Soul » Blog Update & Carnival of Evolution #11 - Oh, For the Love of Science! It seems to be a simple rule: all small animals with 6 legs are insects and all small animals with 8 legs are spider-like arthropods.
Spiders at Spiderzrule - the best site in the world about spiders, redbacks, huntsmen, garden orb weaver, funnel web, black widow, recluse, hobo spider, daddy long legs. I took all of the following images over the past few days - some on my lunch break, some at the NIEHS campus, some at home, and some simply next to the road on my daily commute.
I almost never fail to identify insects using it (and it has quite a few experts and educated amateur entomologists always willing to help in identification).

I didn't even realize they were there until I checked out the image on my computer.  It was a tiny flower. Unfortunately the mere feature of having 8 legs does not mean that their owners are closely related. They maybe seen on a wall or fence every now and then, but usually they are in or around the vegetation of your garden. Readily identified by the small round body in the middle of eight extremely long and thin legs. Interestingly, I learned that it is of the same genus as the monster above, though they are massively different in size, color, habit, and habitat. This is followed by hungry red-bellied woodpeckers drilling into said wood to retrieve the hymenopteran snacks.  This is followed by me patching and repainting the woodpeckers' hack job. However, counting 6 or 8 legs is a useful rule-of-thumb to distinguish between the numerous species belonging to the insects. Harvestmen do no harm to your garden, for they are hunters, preying on small insects mainly.
Even while staring at the lake through my windows at work I am walking nature in my mind (unless I'm sectioning brains). They both belong to the family of Fishing Spiders (though the first one does not live on water). I took several courses with him (and even took an awesome Spring Break trip to Big Bend with him). Small animals walking on 8 legs are usually well known: spiders, harvestmen, scorpions and ticks.

The two pages do overlap, for some spiders like both: the wall of a house and the tree trunk in the garden. Two different species with "Six-spotted" in the common name (the beetle and the spider above). Spiders have a body consisting of three parts, just like insects have: head, thorax and abdomen.
Ticks usually suck blood from other animals (including humans) and some species may transfer awful diseases while doing so, such as Lyme's disease.
The head and thorax however, have fused into one visible structure called the cephalothorax.
The brown pseudoscorpion in the picture is often referred to as moss scorpion, for it is usually found in mosses. And to make the matter even more complicated: these 8 legs are not always visibly present (yet).
Many spiders and harvestmen are relatively big while pseudoscorpions and mites are much smaller.

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