Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Not-So-Itsy Bitsy Spider...

Ever have one of those days? You wake up with a song in your heart and a smile on your lips? There you are, yanking out weeds, evening out your mulch a bit, taking joy in the blooms and buds showering your landscape with color and beauty, and just as your getting ready to burst into some sappy song of happiness and joy, and...

A movement catches your eye. You pause, the words of Ewan McGregor from Moulin Rogue drifting silent into the now-eerie silence...

You cautiously poke your impatiens.

Nothing.

You begin to think it's your imagination, or maybe that dang floater in your eye is back again playing tricks. You hear a bird chirp, and the moment is past. You bust out, "We could be hero's, Forever and eeeeevvvvveeeeerrrrr!!!" look down...

And see this on your arm:



(Honestly? It took me about a half hour to find her again to take that shot... It was a very Steve Irwin-ish type of experience...)

I shrieked like most little girls only wish they could. Shrieked, stomped, slapped, shook, shimmied and screamed, flapping like a sea gull on 'roids! Rich comes racing out of the house, "What?! What's going on? What happened? Are you hurt?"

"Whereisitwhereisitwhereisitgetitoffgetitoffgetitoff!!"

"What? Were you bit by a snake? Where is it? Was it poisonous? Where's the gun?" Granted, he is shouting this at me while I continue my new mantra to bring peace and stability into my life. Eventually I settle down a bit and try to explain the MAMMOTH proportions of this obviously dangerous predator in my used-to-be Eden side yard.

"Come on, get real!" he says, brushing off the apparent danger we're in. I'm imagining nests of these giant black-and-yellow blood suckers in every nook and cranny, a huge hive in the attic just waiting for nightfall to descend and suck our bodies dry over a period of weeks as we're immobilized in a silken coffin. "They'd probably make us watch them eat Hawthorne first, to draw out the suspense and terror. Then they'll figure out which of us is weaker, and lacerate off our body parts one at a time and dangle them before us in their hairy mandibles..."

"I'm going back in the house. A spider..."

I stand there in the side yard, looking at my flowers in a whole new light. I decided to do some research...

Apparently, this is known as a Garden Spider, and is one of the best spiders you could possibly have in your garden! The females are about an inch-and-a-half long (just their bodies!! That doesn't count the head [white-ish] or legs!!), usually hang in the center of their nest in an "X" shape, face down, waiting for anything: beetles, wasps, bees, flies...

But they are not a danger to humans. Thank goodness! With this data in mind, I went out and hunted down that picture of her, with a new appreciation for my safety!

Never saw a spider like this in my life (and I'm sure if Mom had, she'd have died on the spot!), but I have to tell you, now that I know she's harmless to me, I think she's a lot prettier...

I'd also like to point out that, once I relocated her and showed Rich her enormous size, he was a little more understanding about my freak-out. So much so that he wouldn't even get close enough to take the picture!

Guess who had the last laugh?


4 comments:

Sylvia said...

I loved this one Ja. LOL However, I know you said "it's one of the best spiders you can have in your garden...." but, I would've taken my Hotshot bottle of spider killer and done away with it.
John (who buys me a new bottle every year) insists that I'm not doing anyone any favors by tracking down and killing EVERY single spider I see. Well, I'll have you know... I'd much rather deal with wasps and/or beetles than those 8 legged freaks of nature.
I hate spiders. All of them. And no amount of reason or babble about how they control the pest population will change my mind.
LOL anyway, just wanted to say that...
AND - We're 1 day away from CLENMARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
love
Sylvia

mom said...

jason, jason, jason, i still say that God had a very bad day when He invented the spider and snakes! i hate them and if anybody has a problem with this pray for me. as long as i live i will never seek out a spider to take pictures of them. i would seek them out to kill them things! :) i guess i will give these horrible creatures a chance to crawl down to your place so they can live with you instead. if they don't move fast enough they are going to meet thier Maker! i remember reading the story about that spider in the barn to some kids when i worked at school and after i read it i said to them i still don't like spiders. i don't care if they can spell! i am with you sylvia and hate spiders also! i am excited also about our trip!!! :) :) :) love and prayers

elj377 said...

You screamed like a girl! I love it...Dan has the habit of doing the same thing! I am constantly telling people that most spiders are great for your garden and kill more yuckiness than they create problems! I applaud your picture taking skills:) I was laughing at the mental picture of you trying to get it off!

DaBich said...

OMG! You freaked me out. I friggin HATE spiders!!!!! Give me the eebie jeebies!