Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Spider Sense

Funnel Web SpiderLast summer, I noticed a very large spider lurking outside our house. Its tunnel-like web intrigued me, though not enough to make me get too close. I always checked for him whenever I went out to dump the compost because ... well, I always felt better if I knew where he was. You'll have to click on the photo in order to get a better view.

I looked online to see if I could find out what kind of spider he was, and found this:

The Funnel Web spider is a robust, hairy spider with long legs and a body length of 12 mm. It nests in the corner of garages, basements and other ground level areas. Its web is a flat funnel that leads to a short tunnel. It can deliver a painful bite but is not poisonous except to those who may be sensitive and are allergic to spider venom.

Spiders kind of freak me out. I don't mind them, as long as they stay away from me. One night in bed, I awoke when something tickled my lip. I thought it was my hair, so I brushed it away. Then I felt the tickle on my neck, and knew immediately that it wasn't just a stray strand of locks. I clutched the tickler in my fist, and threw it on the sheets. I fumbled for the switch on my bedside lamp, then frantically searched the bedding beside me. The spider's legs were all curled up, and it was now most definitely dead. I looked at the ceiling and walls for more of them, but realized that spiders don't hang out in herds, so I was probably safe.

Did you know that you'll eat about six spiders in your lifetime? For months after that night, I fell asleep with the corner of the pillow case over my mouth. I still get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.

8 comments:

jan said...

I had a biology professor who brought in tarantulas and spiders sitting on his shoulder and tell us what beneficial things they did for humanity. I have loved spiders since that time. They really are the good guys.

Lynn Sinclair said...

I envy you, Jan. I wish I could love 'em. But I do know they're good guys, and that's why I left the funnel spider alone (although he was pretty big ... big enough to eat a chipmunk or bird ... maybe)

NuclearToast said...

I was going to give you bonus points for using "heebie jeebies" in your post, but it's about spiders, so that's a given.

I was surprised by that tickle on the neck thing the other day. Yes, a spider. At work. On the third floor of an office building. Creepy.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Yikes, NT, not even safe on the third floor of an office building! I think I read somewhere that there's always a spider within a few feet of us ... just waiting. Poor things, they do have a bad rep.

Raggedy Angst said...

I am no fan of spiders. I will escort them outside under glass when I find them in my home, but I really don't like them. Yeah, I'll tell you the story of the spider in my EAR someday when I stop screaming.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Spider in ear ... have to be honest, I'm not sure I want to hear that story, Raggs. I have enough nightmares of my own. An early Star Trek movie had a scene where a rather gruesome bug was place in Chekov's ear. That was about 30 years ago, and I can still see (and feel) it vividly.

Georgie said...

Agree with Jan. Spiders are also especially good at giving pesky little critters like ants and cockroaches the boot, as well.

Lynn Sinclair said...

I wasn't aware that spiders like to eat cockroaches, Georgie. Now there's a bug that most people could live without!