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.)