Monday, February 9, 2009

If you’re afraid of spiders, leave now

Much to the delight of my Dear Wife, I’m nearly done cleaning up my studio. I must say, I like the new arrangement, and the space now looks like something inhabited by a productive person.

I’m not the neatest person in the world, by any stretch. I make piles, which is about as close as I usually come to organizing. However, eventually, the piles begin to topple, and when they do, they send up clouds of dust that I can no longer ignore. So, I sort everything into new piles and take the lid off the trash can, for inside of it is where the biggest pile is going to be placed. Various papers, letters, announcements, articles and notes that were once important enough to keep are prioritized to the springtime burn.

Although I started this project almost two weeks ago, I am not done. I have one more pile of papers to sort and the area under my flat file to clean. I worked my way right up next to the flat file and stopped when I encountered this little bugger behind a bookcase.

I initially thought it was a black widow. It certainly has the shape of one, and I have seen a couple of those nasties around the farm. Yet, on closer inspection, I did not find the hourglass marking on the abdomen, and the coloration was off. After some web-crawling, I discovered that it is most likely a female common house spider, Steatoda, in the Theridiidae family, which happens to be the same family as a Black Widow. They make similarly messy webs, like the same type of habitat, etc., yet are not as poisonous. Still, I took the vacuum to it.

For the most part, I like spiders. I find them fascinating, and have been known to feed them on occasion for some cheap thrills. Yet, in that my workstation was going to be in the general vicinity of where I found this spider, and I know where another of its kind is, not fifteen feet away, I deemed this one expendable.

So, why tell you about this? Because I wanted to spin an essay around the phase “a tangled web we weave?” Because, for a change of pace, I wanted to write about something, anything, besides poker?

Now that the studio is free of arachnids, at least readily visible ones, there are certain expectations that I have put upon myself. My reams of drawing paper beckon. Maybe I should do a series of drawings…but of what? I have organized my music library, so now might be a good time to finally record the radio programs I promised a year ago to the local station. And then my mind meanders over to the farm to-do list. That barn still needs cleaned up, not to mention the window screens that need repaired, and the greenhouse still needs to be prepped for the vegetable starts we are growing this year. And the multiple trips to the junkyard…

Maybe I’ll just play some poker.

Yep, a tangled web…

(Note to readers: Actually I’m off to run some errands. Call the last significant paragraph literary license.)


James said...

You killed your spider? What do you think they eat?

Memphis MOJO said...

"After some web-crawling, I discovered"

You looked for info about spiders on the web, ha, I like it.

bastinptc said...

Yes, I killed my spider. I'm not proud of it. Judging from the number of cobwebs I took down during my thorough cleaning, I'd say there are plenty more. I have some shrews down here too, so I have no shortage of insect predators.

El Forrest Gumpo said...

Sorry mate, I'm with James. If the DW wasn't happy with the share situation, I'd probably relocate it.

In Aus we have red belly black snakes which are really common. We used to take to them with a shovel but i later found out they're the only natural predator of the deadly brown snake and are a blessing to have around.

And i thought you were a tree hugging hippy! ;)

bastinptc said...

Well, I actually do hug trees. I guess life on the farm has numbed me a bit as we are inundated at times with all sorts of critters. Sometimes I cull. Again, I'm not proud of it.

As for snakes, I cherish the ones we have here. One time I ran over a garden snake with my tiller. I was traumatized.

James said...

You have killed a snake and a spider. Now you will have to spray your whole farm with Liquid Seven.

(B, I have been a vegetarian since 1984. Not important, background info only. Feel free to makejokes.)

bastinptc said...

You know, every time I work my fields, all sorts of critters perish. It's unavoidable but is it unintentional? Most of them I never see, some I see but it is too late to stop.

Sevin is a different story altogether. I can't do it. Won't.

And why would I make fun of someone dedicated to consuming the product I grow?

Crash said...

see spiders making webs after consuming marijuana, caffeine, etc.

bastinptc said...

Been there, done that, paid the price.

Crash said...

I like being made fun of, if it is meant to be friendly. This may explain some of the inappropriate things I say.