Sunday, February 17, 2008

Spider of the Year 2008



... this morning between my dirty dishes. I guess she was thinking of spending the day tucked away there, nice and cool ... she must have thought she was hiding under a stone. She had a bit of a shock when I turned on the tap to do the dishes.. and so did I! I never kill spiders but this one I was afraid to touch even though I know our spiders are never dangerous to people. I cut an orange carton and shuffled her in with a sponge. I worried that the acid might bite her so I washed it out first. She tried to wriggle away and nearly succeeded but fortunately she was too big to fit in between the cracks. I had just made it to the outside door and turned the key when she decided she'd had enough and gave a violent burst of wriggling spider aggression pounding at the sides of the carton. The movement of all her eight stamping paws was amplified through the aluminum lining. In a fit I just threw open the door and flung her outside carton and all. With a perfect homing instinct she instantly came running back to the house! I was frantic, but I still didn't want to kill her, so I waved the sponge at her a few times. Lucky for both of us she got the hint that time and turned the other direction. I've never seen her again. I'd know. Man she was huge.

She must have been at least almost one quarter of the size my sister gets in her house. Maybe one fifth. Or sixth. Ok, huge for Netherlands standards. She still frightened me though. The whole time though breakfast I thought I was chewing spider.

2 comments:

Sandy Carlson said...

I admire the effort you extended to get this critter out the door.

We have a garter snake that behaves like your spider, though he doen't come in. Instead he absorbs the afternoon sun from the front step before he wriggles back into the foundation. I assume he feasts on filed mice and the like and is therefore a pal, though a slippery one.

What does your spider consume?

thyme said...

Thank you for asking that question, I never would have looked it up otherwise.. I always just assumed it ate insects and it does, but I found more... it appears this type of spider has been elected "Spider of the Year 2008" by araneologists of 21 European countries - now the title of this blogpost. The araneologists want to give he spider some positive attention because people are often unduly afraid of it whereas it is a very useful creature. The site also says they are often found in bathtubs and sinks, because they are unable to climb up smooth surfaces.

I think you are very brave to tolerate a snake in your garden. We had a few in France and they were the type that could not bite humans so they didn't really bother us but higher up the mountains I saw a few vipers, which I don't think I could tolerate near my house. As it is, on the two occasions we nearly stepped on a snake it was gone faster than we could move. One time my husband found one while climbing into his sleeping bag. He felt something cold an darted out the sleeping bag, and the snake darted out just as fast in the other direction...