Watch Where You Step

Just yesterday, Jennifer and I were again discussing the unusually high concentration of carnivorous arthropods in the area this season. We have seen vast numbers of ladybugs, dragonflies, wasps, and spiders in our garden and around the house. We rarely see any bugs in the house, perhaps because we have four little furry hunters to keep them in check. Since my daily commute to work is approximately 10-feet, I often don’t wear shoes. Especially in the Summer, I will more often than not be patting around in my sock feet.

This morning, while walking down the hall, I felt a lump of something under my foot. Fearing the worst of what I might have just stepped in, I slowly removed my foot and took a look. It was a spider of the typical orb-weaver variety that we have seen around the garden. But, instead of being crushed as one might expect, it looked up at me with its shiny eyes, unphased, if a little annoyed that I had just stepped on it. It chattered its mandibles and I wondered if I should say, “excuse me” or something. I doubt I need to describe to you the size of the creature.

Back when I worked at the auto parts store in the bad part of town, we had a bit of a ‘pet’ spider. It was another garden variety spider, but had impressively grown to about an inch and a half long, not including its legs. When I first saw it, I commented that it had a beard and grandkids and was older than me. That one met its unfortunate demise when it confronted a customer who stomped it to death while purchasing motor oil for her leaky wreck of a car.

I have no particular fear of spiders; rather I find them to be fascinating creatures that efficiently kill bugs that I don’t like, and decorate their domain with impressively structured webs. They make interesting photography subjects and it’s fun to watch them weave their webs and catch insects. Even so, I still don’t wish to share my home with spiders that justifiably have no fear of me. Whether you are an arachnophobe or not, that’s just creepy!

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16 thoughts on “Watch Where You Step

  1. spiders are my friends…they eat things that way to eat me. as a result, they get free reign of the house. i usually toss’em in the basement to munch the cave crickets.

    we have a 2 inch wolfie down there…ever since she moved in the basement has been nearly empty of cave crix. it’s fantaaaaaaastic.

  2. Spiders I’m fine with…I always liked the little grey jumping spiders, myself. You just gotta respect something that has a body the size of a kernel of corn and an ego the size of a mid-sized Trex. Those little buggers just aren’t afraid of anything! They won’t attack, but they also won’t run away in fear just because a human got all up in its biz. We don’t have to worry too much about the poisonous variety here in the mid-cities, and if they’re around, they know to stay out-of-sight-out-of-mind. But spiders serve a purpose, ridding the house of bugs. They, as well as geckos, are more than welcome around here!

    Roaches, on the other hand….those bass-turds are the spawn of Satan himself, and are pooped directly out of a level of hell lower than even mosquitoes.

    • Yup, the jumping spiders are quite entertaining. Unfortunately, we don’t get geckos or anoles this far north. It’s very rare that we see cockroaches, but there are a lot of other roach varieties around. Funny, I haven’t seen many of them around this season. I wonder if I can thank the spiders and wasps for that…

  3. Ooooooooh, those guys were awesome! Used to love seeing those white lightning bolt patterns in their webs…oddly enough, the roach population was usually lower in the general vicinity. All roaches must die.

  4. The author of Charlotte’s web once wrote this.

    “Once you begin watching spiders, you haven’t time for much else—the world is really loaded with them. I do not find them repulsive or revolting […] and I think it is too bad that children are often corrupted by their elders in this hate campaign. Spiders are skilful, amusing and useful. and only in rare instances has anybody ever come to grief because of a spider.”

    The full letter is here, and fantastic.

  5. Re: Black Widows

    I’ve seen two. The first was in my favorite bug hunting spot, the hole in the yard for our water meter. My parents were not appreciative when I trapped it. The second was last summer, a large female from the back yard near a tree.

    Both were beautiful.

    I’ve had a presumed brown recluse bite, but never actually seen the spider. I would love to. (From a respectful distance; the bite took months to heal.

  6. I am not a spider fan, but I can tell you about the time I walked through the web of an orb-weaver spider such as you described. It had built its web across the front door frame of the neighbor’s house where I was caring for their dog while they were on vacation. The sky was dark, the door was black, and I didn’t see the damned thing, but I felt the silk wrap around my face as I walked through the doorway.

    Feeling that big sonofabitch on my head freaked me the hell OUT.

    I have no problem looking at them. Having them ON me is another thing entirely.

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