Jumpin’ Jack Flash…

… it’s 2019 already! Happy new year to you all!

Northern Green Jumping Spider (Mopsus Mormon) with prey.

So, what news from my tiny courtyard garden?

Well, what about this tiny creature busily preparing dinner on the underleaf of my Medinilla? Had I known at the time this is one of Australia’s largest jumping spiders, perhaps I wouldn’t have been so keen to get a close-up. And yet she was so pretty, and quite tiny despite being described as ‘large’.

Appearances can be deceptive.

This spider, while not toxic to humans, can deliver a painful bite.

Northern Green Jumping Spider (Mopsus Mormon) with prey.

Green Jumping spiders are described as large, beautiful, and fast. Aggressive predators, they can be found hunting day or night preying on insects and other spiders. Their lime green livery provides these little creatures with effective camouflage, making them difficult to see against green foliage (ref.)

Which brings me to my point. As I said, appearances can be deceptive.

I don’t mean just physical appearances either, although they too, can deceive just as readily as this little spider. I’m thinking more of the way we can mis-perceive something based on how it appears. Take for example, what others may be thinking of us. When we make faulty assumptions based on the way something appears, it can have toxic consequences as surely as a bite from this pretty spider.

If I take on other people’s perceptions of me, correct or otherwise, then am I being true to myself? Or am I moulding myself according to the expectations of others? Some social theories suggest we rely on feedback from others [society] to determine how we should act, how we should be, who we are.

But I think first and fundamentally we behave according to our personal values (albeit informed by society), which are a conscious choice for us all to make.

The mind cannot support moral chaos for long. [People] are under as strong a compulsion to invent an ethical setting for their behavior as spiders are to weave themselves webs.

John Dos Passos

29 responses to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash…

  1. This is so true! And I love how you find so many parallels in nature to our inner lives. If we assume something is bad or dangerous, it impacts how we act. We can make things bad or wrong when they are not. It robs us of so many possibilities. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Quite an analogy, Robyn, and well stated. I’m still learning, in my late 70s, not to wonder or worry what others think of me, only what God thinks of me. That “little” spider in close-up doesn’t looks all that innocuous after all, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love his little face! I think if you are lucky you start life wanting to please, and you get recognition for ‘doing the right thing’, and you gain a lot from the recognition of this. It can get a little dysfunctional if your life is invaded by someone who takes advantage of this. Then you have to recalibrate and be a little more discerning. I fundamentally am a people-pleaser, but have learnt to honour myself, through a lot of introspection and reflection. Now I surround myself with people who respect my boundaries.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ali, I read your response twice and thought about it on my morning walk. I relate to that wanting to please personality trait. Yes, you are absolutely right that it can be taken for granted. But I have learnt that no one but me can prevent that from happening so I cannot blame others when it does. Your advice to be more discerning is the key. I like the idea that in doing so, we honour ourselves. Thanks for your sharp insights. As for the little spider, she appears beautiful but has a nasty bite.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been hoping to return to your courtyard garden for a wee while now but life has nudged me in a different direction recently, how lovely it is, on this sunny winter morning, to wander through your world again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. From the side it looks like a grasshopper, Robyn!

    And as to misperceptions, the other day I found out that someone that I had given information to that I thought would help their situation blamed me for all the problems their situation had caused (even though I had nothing to do with any of it) just because I clued them in to all the potential problems. I was pretty shocked, thinking I was being helpful only to find out the didn’t want to hear it and had redirected their anger about the situation to me. So yes, definitely a misperception on my part which led me to do some heavy thinking for a couple days after which I concluded that anyone who chooses to remain in the dark about potential problems and pitfalls coming their way that with the right information they could remedy is probably someone whose opinion I would never value in the first place so why bother caring about what they think. (It took two days and a lot of angst to get there, though.) xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam I can imagine how disappointing that was. It’s good you took time to reflect though and resolved any angst you were suffering. I would say not to take it personally because that person sounds as though they’re in a dark place by projecting blame onto others.
      That little spider was so pretty – belies its capacity for toxicity.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. After so many years living my life down here in Melbourne, I’ve never seen or heard of this spider. The jumping spider sounds like it can jump far, and not one you want to jump right at you. Great close up shot of it, and it does look every bit lime green – great for camoflouging among the green foliage. So agree with Catherine that there are parallels in nature to our inner lives. Not all spiders intend to harm, just like how not everyone wants to take advantage of us.

    Liked by 1 person

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