Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

8 Legs of Doom

A plump, juicy, ripe Garden spider.Hallowe'en is drawing near and it seems like a good opportunity to talk about spiders. I hate when people kill spiders. I hate when people kill anything. But especially creatures that don't have any idea they're about to be squashed. And even more especially when the creature is trying to run for its life.

I'd much rather have spiders in the house than all the things they're eating. But I still understand people's fear of spiders. I understand because I also get a little freaked when I pick one up, it escapes my clutches, runs up my wrist and makes a break for my sleeve. I understand the fear, because when I think the spider is too big, I'll capture the spider in an old juice jug instead, then dump ol' spidey in the garden.

Working in the garden this weekend, preparing the plants for the cold, I discovered this giant garden spider. It has been a long time since I had the courage to pick one up. About 22 years or so.

I watched the garden spider scrambling on the smooth iris leaves and decided she couldn't hurt me. I tried to grab her big ass, but I didn't know how much pressure I could use. I tried a few times to pick her up, but she was eight legs deep in her mighty web. I decided to leave her alone and instead just take a few pictures.

A deadly Brown Widow spider in a web of deadliness.I harbour a hope that somewhere in my garden this other spectacular spider lives. I grabbed her from somewhere in my house and tossed her outside to save her from a gruesome Nike death. Suz is absolutely terrified of spiders and if it weren't for me, there'd be a lot of spider guts to clean off our walls.

I'm glad this spider is no longer living inside our house, as it is a very deadly, tropical, Brown Widow spider. Yes, the Brown Widow, cousin of the Black Widow. I've learned from a University of Florida website, and confirmed by Wikipedida, that the venom of the Brown Widow is twice as potent as the Black Widow spider. However, the good news is that the chances of being bitten are very slim since she doesn't defend her web as vigorously as the Black Widow. Still, if bitten by the Brown Widow, there is a chance of death although I suspect that's only with the very young, or the elderly.

But as scary as this sounds, I am really excited to say I've had one of the deadliest spiders in all the land living in my house. Had I known the 411 (do people still use this cool daddy-o term?) on this arachnid before I scooped her up, I would have been much more careful.

Still, it's October! It's Halloween time! And what would Halloween be without spiders? I'll tell you what it would be. Lame.


Blogger mmat said...

i am of the same opinion of spiders. i usually let them live in the house so that they'll eat the other unwanted bugs that may find their way in. i'd much rather have a spider or two than mosquitoes or flies.

12:39:00 PM

Blogger Vengelyne said...

Great photos of the spiders.

Ugh... I don't think I can live with a deadly spider living in my garden. I'll most likely spray insecticide and kill it. >_<

10:59:00 PM

Blogger patti_cake said...

I have no love for spiders but I don't kill things either. Not spiders, snakes, roaches etc... I always swerve to avoid dogs,cats,squirrels,bunnies and have wrecked more than one car to avoid deer.
You are brave to take on a big fat juicy garden spider though *shiver*

10:28:00 AM

Blogger TheatreChick73 said...

Well thankee sir! You just gave me a great idea for my zombie costume! Now, how do I confine the spider to me and keep it from wandering into the audience?

Must ponder the logistics of this plan.....

10:36:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Hmm. I just remembered that I had a bad dream about mosquitoes. Weird.

Theatrechick - Zombie costume? Sweet! I'd love to see pics if possible.

11:14:00 AM

Blogger Rainypete said...

You need to slip a spider or two into your brain hole. That'll the the mosquitos at bay.

12:55:00 PM

Blogger TheatreChick73 said...

MArtini: I am the zombie wrangler for my theatre company's production of Night of the Living Dead Halloween weekend. My job (aside from being a zombie myself) is to coordinate about 20 or so zombies who wander through the audience and plot the surprise at the end (we go a little bit further than the movie). I will definitely send pics or at the very least a link to the theatre's official pics.

Weren't you the crew last Halloween who did the zombie march in TO?

11:21:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

That sounds totally awesome. I bet it will be a total blast! Which reminds me. I have to add Night of the Living Dead to my movie blog. The last word is... ah, you probably already know it.

Yep, last year I did organize a Zombie walk, but it wasn't in Toronto. We're about 45 minutes southwest of the T dot. :)

6:27:00 PM

Blogger chaindropz said...

Last time I blog through I think you were cleaning up a spill in your Honda. I use boric acid to kill bugs. Any thing with more than 2 legs gets stomped in my home which is mostly spiders. A few mosquitoes get in when I am careless and they are allowed 1 meal but they are finished prematurely if possible. I use live traps for rodents and I release birds That I catch. Rodents meet a worse fate than misquitoes. It is hard to swat something in a cage. It is also hard to swim when you are in a cage. Lizzards get a free pass. Hawks get a free pass. I saw a Hawk tearing something apart this morning. I am sure it was something I did not need. I also enjoyed seeing a cat play with a ground squirrel today. I think he was a little rough. I love to use chemicals outside. I have only seen one black widow in my yard. I hate it when the poisons kill a American Shrew. Sorry that is just me.

12:39:00 AM

Blogger Richard said...

Pah, call that a spider? this is a spider - the shaky camerawork is mine...

4:27:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

I like to let creatures outside and let nature take its course. But even then I'd be afraid to grab that Spider Richard got on video. I don't think my hands would be big enough to hold that guy.

2:10:00 PM

Blogger honkeie2 said...

I am no fan of any creature that bites....spider dont bother me ..just as long as I dont see them coming down from the ceiling towards my face while I am sleeping. This has happened and when it does I go all Terminator on them....Asta-la-visa creepy crawler!

12:40:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Update: Wikipedia has changed their photo. I can't find any Brown Widow pics that resemble this one any longer. Now I'm not so sure about it.

7:37:00 PM


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