Monday, October 01, 2012


The other night I finished painting some masks and took my brushes and paint-daubled fingers into the bathroom to wash up. I flipped on the light switch with my elbow and there was a spider the size of a golf ball clinging to the wall between the sink and toilet.

"Gah!" I hollered. I hate spiders. They're cool and all, but I hate them in my house. The Sparring Partner had already warned me he'd found a couple big ones in the house; one in the bathroom and another in the kitchen.

"What's the matter?" the SP called from the living room.

"Come rescue me!"

"You spill paint on yourself?"


"Oh, you found a little friend?" I heard his footsteps coming and moved out of the way to wash up in the kitchen.

He ducked into the bathroom. "Well hello, big boy!" he said, and a moment later came out with his hand loosely cupped. He went out the back door and deposited the garden spider in the garden.

"Thanks," I said.

"I rescued both of you," he pointed out, because he knows I'll kill them if it's left up to me. I've had a number of painful spider bites in my life.

This is looking to be a particularly infested year. We always see some in the fall, but this number and the size of them is creeping me out. This is an old house and I have a lot of fabric and boxes sitting around the perimeter of the rooms.

Just before I started writing this I put my bare foot down on the floor, preparatory to spinning my chair around, and something skittered under my arch. Sure enough, it was another of those brown spiders, this one only slightly smaller than the last, with a big tuft of sewing lint clinging to its back.

This one was not spared.

As soon as I finish this next shipment of costumes I'm going to break out the vacuum cleaner.


damia1966 said...

We've had more of them than usual, as well, even over in the studio (apartment next door). Those spiders are either going to die or move on, though, since nothing happens over there that would bring prey in. I try to spare them, but I can't bring myself to do as the SP does. I trap with a glass, slide something under, and escort them outside, if I can.

Jan Gephardt said...

Somehow, both of our children have grown up to be far more enlightened Old Souls than either my beloved or myself. They routinely trap and release, using the cardboard-under-jar method described by "Damia."

I try to restrain my less-evolved instincts, with mixed success. I can admire them as magnificent predators, but I can never do it without suppressing a shudder.

BTW, the spiders you are describing seem to be wolf spiders. They are quite common in Kansas, and in fact they apparently attain larger sizes as you go west.

When my daughter was living in Manhattan, KS, she caught and successfully kept a very large one (something like an inch and a half across), with advice from the local insect zoo. Despite the gender difference, she naturally named her spider Aragog, and she mourned when Aragog laid eggs and died.

She put the egg sac outside, though!