Flander's Lane, Washington Maine

Flander's Lane is named after my grandfather, Roland Flanders. It is a short dirt road with a few camps set on Washington Pond. There are tales that Flander's Lane is haunted. At least that's what my grandfather says.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Wharf Spiders

Maine Wharf SpiderUnder the wharf and deck area at the lake live these huge Wharf Spiders. This is a photo of a small one about 3 inches across. They are very territorial and at times may try to chase you off the deck when they are in a bad mood. They build webs under the dock and catch lots of bugs, and some say small fish and children.

All I know is that they creep me out, and have all my life growing up in Maine. I remember several occasions as a child here on Washington Pond being chased off the dock by some big grand daddy Wharfer that knew I was no match for him. I would even go to say my mother, who is afraid of nothing, (and just might kill you if you make her mad), is terrified by these gigantic Maine spiders. It's good to know there is something on this here earth that makes that woman back down a bit.

Wharfer SpiderEvery day when my wife and 2 year old venture out for a swim, as they go down the wood steps into the lake, the Wharfers scamper away to not get stepped on. To see their cute little toes casually step along the same path where these monsters live is a bit unsettling for me.

Let me tell you this: Nature is NOT your friend. The Environment has no intention of saving YOU. Pretty much everything out there wants to eat you in one way or another. Whether it's the coyotes across the lake, the mosquitoes, or simply bacteria, nature wants a big bite of you. Sure I love it here. I have a lot of respect for nature, and keeping the land pure and protected. I just happen to know that nature has very little respect for me.


At August 10, 2007 8:15 PM , Blogger Jason said...

Greeting from Alford Lake.
I just came across one of these big spiders (probably 3 inches easy with legs). Wow - They certainly command your attention. This is in Hope, just two towns away. You come up high in the search results for wharf spider when I wanted to learn more about them.



At December 25, 2007 11:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in washington for 20 years now and growing up as a kid have swam in washington lake and have personaly seen these spiders when you see one you definitly know it. The one I have seen was atleast 6 inches including legs. What i would like to know is if these spiders only live in maine or if they actually are called a certain type of spider?

At September 10, 2008 4:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live on long lake off sebago lake and i was walking on my dock and was confronted by this HUGE black spider, after screamming my boyfriend came running thinking that i fell in the water, i told him what i saw and he laughed and said there was no such thing, so did everyone else i told. well after seeing this sight the laugh is on them.

At September 18, 2008 8:08 AM , Blogger Ellen said...

I've been trying to identify a spider my husband and I saw while out in our boat on Wassookeag Lake in Dexter, ME. It must have been a wharf spider, but you wouldn't believe what it was doing! We were in the middle of the lake, there was a slight breeze, and we were moving very slowly. We saw this thing in the water, coming toward us at a steady pace. When it got close enough, we saw that it was a big spider, on it's back, legs moving rapidly as it spun out webbing. It looked to us as if it were using it's web to sail! It passed right by us, going in the direction of the wind toward shore. I haven't been able to find any info on spiders that use their webs to sail on the water, but we really did see it. It creeped us out even more than seeing them on the dock!

At June 15, 2009 12:28 PM , Blogger wendy_darling1966 said...

I have caught my fourth wharf spider in two months here in Queens County ,Nova Scotia.They get inside my house somehow.I live in a 100 year old farmhouse ,situated along the Medway River,in the tiny community of Charleston.I have these spiders in my home every years nine years in a row since buying my house.They give me the creeps,they are not only huge,they are just plain ugly !I am trying to find out if they bite,and if they could be poisonous.It is hard to find any information on them online.I am going to contact the Nova Scotia Museum in Halfax ot see if they can tell me more about these hideous,but fascinating creatures.The one I caught this morning is sitting here in a glass jar with the lid sealed tight.It is approx.4 inches long,I have caught one that was almost 7 inches wide ,that one I smooshed with my shoe,it was sitting on my steps going to the upstairs of my house,it startled me so I stepped on it.What a mess! I am not an insect -lover,I wish I knew how to get rid of these pests once and for all!If I find anymore info,I will be sure to post.

At September 14, 2009 1:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

All my life I've tried to tell people about these spiders. When I was 12 y.o. (I'm 60 now), at the beginning of the summer season, I ran across the dock at camp and jumped in the lake before my Grandfather had "swept the dock, ladder, and bank. When I tried to come up the ladder, it was covered with spiders. I panicked and went under water and came up under the dock. What I saw gave me such bad nightmares for years. Nobody ever believe these wharf spiders were so big, but I know it and so did my grandfather. He jumped in with all his clothes and got me out of the lake. I wouldn't go in again until he proved to me that they were all gone. After that, I never went in to the water until AFTER he had cleaned up and gotten rid of every one of the spiders.


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