The other morning, I was out with the dogs, sitting quietly on my deck, and saw this. Quite exquisite in all of its spiny arachnid glory. About the size of quarter. But the problem is I am an arachniphobe. Like truly, horribly petrified of spiders. And this baby was sitting over my doorway back into the house. It was hard to summon up the courage to go back in. Just ask my family. There are spider stories galore.
One story that lives on and gets recited way too often is the spider and the shower story. A long time ago we lived in an old old house and the only shower was in the basement. It was a pretty primitive arrangement. I went down for my nightly shower and when I was toweling off there was this huge black spider on the floor. It followed me, I screamed, it followed me every time I backed away. And then I heard giggling. Seems my oh too clever 10 year old son had attached a plastic spider to my towel with fishing line. In hind sight this is a pretty good joke and he lives to tell the story-- every year at about this time.
I really met my match spiderwise, in Australia. There we had the Huntsman. An enormous but quite benign spider, human wise. These are huge spiders, about the size of the palm of my hand in Adelaide. The first time I saw these shortly after I moved I was vaguely fascinated but not so much that I wanted to hang around very long. In Melbourne, where they were smaller (not much), they frequently made a home of our house. I patiently learned to scoop them up with a broom and release them outdoors. These spiders were fantastic for insect control so I actually took good care of them.
Every year at about this time I think about incorporating a spider or two into design. Halloween and all. But it's not going to happen this year. That spiny beauty up there in the first photo has put me off yet again. I know all of you spiders out there have a wonderful niche in the eco system, but I'm sorry, I still don't like you very much. I'm trying, but I'm not there yet.