I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Monday, July 25, 2011

Maybe it Was Too Much Smoke From the Fire.

These guys are not suppose to be crawling around right now.... usually not until September or October.
But there it was... looking all furry and scared.
 She (it says that the females are lighter in color and fuzzier.) was crawling along the garage wall behind some containers.
"What are YOU doing here?"
The Prospector had come into the house, a few minutes before, saying "Get your camera and come out to the side of the garage." He had a bucket in hand. and he left quickly.
Well, that usually means that it's two big to kill and that he wants some help with "the capture". But... " Get your camera" ?
I'm thinking that it could be a Rattler, but he didn't have that edge in his voice... the one that says, "I've got a big bad critter out here and I need your help IMMEDIATELY."
Nope, this was a calm, "I found a camera shoot for your blog." kind of voice.
So I got the camera and walked out to the side of the garage.

The Prospector was trying to pick up a Tarantula and put it in a bucket.
The Tarantula wasn't happy about this.
I said, "Be careful. Don't hurt it." and he said, "You want to do this?"
He didn't have to get an answer on that one. I don't do spiders.
You all know that. Not even big, fuzzy ones that almost look like rodents.
The Prospector finally got the spider into the bucket and I, in my bravest, second cup of coffee voice said,
"Here, give it to me. I'll take it up the road and let it go."
Then I added, " It can't crawl up the sides, can it?"
He said, "I don't think so." and smiled.
I just want you to know that, in the photo below,  MY hand is holding the bucket.
Impressed? I hope so. I hear they jump when they are upset or threatened.
It didn't seem upset. It just sat there.
I walked up the road above the chicken house, never taking my eyes off of this rather good sized arachnid.
and guess who is following right behind me?
Annibel, the cat. She must have thought it was time for a walk
..or, she was interested in what I had in the can.

I walked over to some dry grass and laid the can down. The Tarantula didn't crawl out. It just hunkered in the can.
Annie came over to investigate and I told her to go away.
She backed off.
I lifted the can and shook it. the spider slid down to the edge of the can and crawled back into it. WHATS THE MATTER WITH THIS SPIDER? Doesn't it want to go back to where it came from.
This time, and getting a bit braver, I lifted the can a few inches off the ground and shook it again, a little harder. This time the spider slid out and into the grass.
 Annie was circling the wagons. I pushed her away and said, "NO ANNIE." She backed off, swishing her tail in the air.
The Tarantula move around  and started to get its bearings.
What an amazing creature this is. I found a site that tells all about this beautiful, YES BEAUTIFUL, spider. Here's the link.
I will probably never hold one in my hand.
I will probably never let one walk on my arm.
 But, this is the one spider that will continue to diminish my fear of its species.
A fascinating wandering that I have had many encounters with. But, each time that I do come across a Tarantula I get more comfortable. Maybe, someday in the future, I will be able to hold one..... Ah, NO, maybe not. Not yet anyway.
I picked up Annie and brought her back down to the house. She stayed with me. She didn't go back up the hill.  She was on to other pursuits... like stalking birds (which she rarely catches) and sneaking up on assorted small rodents.
"Good cat." I called after her. " You get enough choices around here without terrorizing a poor little Tarantula."
She turned around and looked at me... meowed, and continued on into the garden.
I not sure what that meow meant.
Could have been "No problem." or...( more likely) it was something like, "Don't push your luck."
She's complex.


  1. shivers...i am mad impressed with your spider wrangling skills...not a fan of big spiders...and good job not killing it...

  2. My corgis cornered one of those recently. I kept my distance. =)

  3. I enjoyed your tale of the tarantula, and am glad you dared to carry the can and set the tarantula lady free.
    I save lots of spiders but never one that big! Hey, maybe the tarantula did not read the memo about not coming out til September.

  4. Connie, I'm impressed with your husband saying he has a subject for your blog. And he sure was right. You got great pictures. But weren't you tempted to just feel the hair on its back?

  5. My grandson, Joseph would have had a good time playing with the tarantula. On his vacation this year he got to hold one in his hand. Not me though I do not like any type of spiders. Your pictures are great as usual. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

  6. Gadzooks, what a hairy spider! I'm not really afraid of them, but then we don't have big hairy ones up North. We do however, have the occasional Brown Recluse and Black Widows...so I'm careful around the brush pile. Do you think your kitty might have tried to eat that spider, or was she just making sure that you properly disposed of it?

  7. I'm not sure where I thought they lived, but cool! And funny we both posted spiders today :-). With happy endings ;-).

  8. Wow...I had an experience with a rather large one back in my college days...they had begun development in an area my late night job was near and it was said they began to come out looking for new places to live...I had heard they jump, so I did not mess with it, I had a gentleman customer use the rather large brook handle to coax it off the entrance to my job...

  9. Thank God I live where I live - I could NOT cope with spiders that big or hairy without paralysing with fear!!!! Well done for your brave removal. I'd be much more likely to have packed my bags and left instead! ;-)

  10. You certainly do have some exciting adventures up there in the mountains. I enjoy hearing your tales and seeing your great nature photos. so thankful you and your homestead are okay after the fire.
    Stay safe


  11. When I was stationed in CA and would venture up toward Solvang and away from the coast, I would see these crossing the road.

    Honey...I would have gone out and purchased a shotgun if I survived seeing it. Terrible fear of spiders.

    I'm proud of you and you both did a good thing. It's also a good think I do not live there!!!

  12. My wife taught science and we had all the beasties at the house in the summer. Several tarantulas which we DID allow to walk on our arms. My wife is brave. I was drunk.

  13. oh. my. gosh. nothankyou. i don't hang around long enough to hurt them. i probably would've hurt MYSELF just trying to get. out. of. there. like you, i do not do spiders. how in the WORLD did you hold that bucket?!! really impressed.


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