Thursday, September 22, 2005

Said the Spider

Originally uploaded by sixlyons.

Spiders are amazing, at a distance. I am a slight arachnophobe, or, if you like, a wuss. I know they're not going to hurt me. I know that I am 432 times bigger than they are. But, you see, they've got so many legs. And they're hairy. And, let's be frank, who needs that many eyes?

This black and yellow argiope is gorgeous, and is perched in the hosta next to our carport. And though the spider is beautiful, I don't want to find it in my house or hanging above my bed as I wake up. I certainly wouldn't want it crawling toward me as I went to the bathroom. (Speaking from experience, however, the bottom of the trash can works in a pinch.) The spider is roughly 9 cm from claw to claw (kitty-corner). That's precisely huge. Now maybe you live in a rain forest and you're chuckling at my "little" spider. Maybe so. But I come from the Great White North, nearly, and spiders don't reach this size unless they are feeding on radioactive bugs. There's something deep down that tells me they just aren't supposed to be this big. But North Carolina does things differently. They keep the temperature cranked up to 90 until October. When they say barbeque, they don't mean chicken or ribs, but chopped pork (which, by the way, is delectable). And when they say spiders, they mean monsters that pull babies from their cribs.

I've told the kids they can look at the spider, but they cannot touch it or its web. I can imagine going outside and seeing the spider wrapping up the boy in a slew of web. Worse yet, perhaps, would be to go outside and see those long, hairy legs poking out from the boy's grinning mouth.


Jamie Dawn said...

Ewwww, the mental pic of him eating the spider!

I HATE spiders. I will watch them on the Discovery Channel or on Animal Planet, but I don't want a real life encounter.
The biggest spiders I've seen (outside of the zoo) were at Magnolia Gardens in Charleston, SC. We toured the lovely gardens and happened to look up, and there were huge webs above our heads with humungous spiders in them. Some of the spiders were the size of my hand and even bigger. It was hitonious!

Sherry C said...

The last time I found a spider that big I also photographed it. Same reaction--beautiful and fascinating, but frightening at the same time.

After the photo shoot, my son and I poked holes in the lid of a two gallon glass jar, created a little habitat for the critter and began feeding it other bugs that we found in the yard. Wow. We kept the thing for weeks. He even lived in Tano's first grade classroom for one of the weeks.

"Spidey" was amazing to watch when he was hunting. He always got his man, or rather his bug, eventually.

My son now considers himself an expert on arachnids of all kinds and even did an extra-credit oral report for his second grade class on the topic. Now in third grade, guess what he's studying in science? You got it. Last night at the school's open house, his teacher said that Tano's knowledge of them has really been helpful to the class.

Great. Keep 'em outside, son.

bob hyatt said...

o crap, o crap... why did I read that?!?!? O crap...


Marti said...


We have those out in the garden too. The WORST thing is to go strolling through the yard and stumble through one of the webs, then be horrified that you may have picked up its maker. {{shivers at the memory}}

Thanks for sharing the lovely photo!

Dan M. said...

Interesting that you posted on spiders today, Scott...and a funny and entertaing one at that. Just yesterday, I believe I was bit by one of those frightful creatures. I ran down to the laundry room to grab a clean t-shirt (who needs a dresser when you can store all your clothes down there?), and after putting it on, I sat down to watch a bit of drivel on TV. Suddenly, it felt as if someone had poked me with a needle in the stomach. It smarted something fierce! I quickly pulled off the t-shirt, and watched as a blood blister of sorts formed, along with a big ole inflamed bump. Not fun at all. Perhaps it will cause me to begin actually folding my clothes and storing them in my dresser. But probably not.

Scott said...

Oh, man! I would be paranoid for weeks any time I put anything on, Dan! But at least it wasn't your skivvies. : )

I understand about the dresser - I take the same approach to food: Why dirty a plate when I can simply eat out of the pan?

Economy is a man's best friend. Except this once, for you.