Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the April 7, 2007 Newsletter issued from Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, QUERÉTARO, MÉXICO

The four days before I left for Cuatro Palos were more like days of the rainy season than what it is, the latter part of the dry season. The days were hot, then in the afternoons you heard thundering up in the mountains, and by day's end a storm rolled in. Maybe that's why Harvestmen, or Daddy Longlegs, gathered en masse high on my little casita's stucco walls, beneath the eaves where rain couldn't reach them.

When I decided to take their picture I set a ladder against the wall, climbed up, and the moment before I snapped the camera I exhaled and my breath caused them to scatter. You can see the scattering critters below:

Harvestmen, or Daddy Longlegs

Most of the time they're in a much compacter clump, their legs intertwined in a way that helps them stay on the wall despite some pretty good gusts of wind coming along. They're still there as I type this nearly a week after taking that picture.

Of course harvestmen are harmless, despite the "urban rumors" going around about their possessing the most deadly venom on Earth. You may enjoy reviewing my Harvestman Page where I explain why harvestmen aren't spiders and give a bit of harvestman ecology at http://www.backyardnature.net/longlegs.htm.