Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Arachtober offering

It's Arachtober! Every October, I join a group of spider lovers on Flickr, each posting one arachnid photo per day until Hallowe'en. It's great fun, and the photos are worth browsing, even if you're not a spider fan. (You may become one after seeing some of our beauties!)

Spiders make traps for the unwary; webs and tunnels and cleverly camouflaged hideouts. And we, all unaware, fill our homes with traps for spiders. Bathtubs and shower stalls, kitchen sinks, washbasins, trash cans; anything with slippery walls, especially if it's baited with a hint of moisture at the bottom. Have you watched a spider caught in a bathtub? It flails away at the lower curve, trying to gain a grip on the cliff face, trying and panicking and trying and failing until some helpful human fishes it out and sets it free outside with a warning; "Don't do that again!"

Every morning, it seems, I lift another harvestman or spider out of the kitchen sink. Usually, they're fine, just frustrated. But recently, I found one drowned in a dish I'd left soaking after a midnight snack. (My bad!) I spooned him out and drained him on a paper towel, where he twitched once, as if to say, "I'm alive," and then lay limp and still. So I dried him with a fresh corner of the towel, and untangled his legs with a fine paintbrush. And went for the camera.

Steatoda grossa, still wet, deciding whether to live or die. But very clean.

10 minutes after the rescue, he's up and running.

All is well. He stops and looks back, as if to memorize the danger zone, then turns and leaves.

I haven't seen him since; he must have learned his lesson.

(I held these photos until I could post them first in the Arachtober pool.)

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