Saturday, August 29, 2009

Things that Go Splat in the Night!

I blogged the other day about how much I like being out in the dark before the rest of the world is bustling and hustling about. Well, quite often when I am going down a path in the early morning darkness, I brush through spider webs and can feel them sticking to my face and arms. Just an occupational hazard, I guess.

But today, being a weekend, I went out after dawn, and when I got to the first to two paths on my regular four mile route, there was a very large spider right in the path. It had constructed an elaborate web about 8-10 feet above the path, and was dangling below the web from a single strand exactly at face level. My face level! Square on to my nose! Right in the middle of the path! Had it been dark, I would have walked, face first, right into her!

And this thing was huge! It had just finished eating a couple of woodchucks and a goat and so wasn’t too hungry. But it clearly was annoyed with me. As I skittered along the edge of the path past it, it roared out a warning, snapped a small tree from the forest, and hurled it at me.

OK, it wasn’t really that big, but its reddish-brown body was about the size of a fingernail, and it had red legs over a centimeter long. That’s big enough that I would not want it on my nose in the dark (or daylight). I am not too squeamish about creepy-crawly things, although I do have some fear about wasps from being stung a number of times when I thought I was minding my own business but had clearly broken some basic rule of wasp etiquette and had to be taught a lesson. All at the same time, I don’t like spiders on my face and I don’t particularly like to handle most insects or arachnids.

So this was one time I am glad I was out in daylight and not the dark. And I am having second thoughts about doing this route in the dark for a while until it gets cooler. What would you do?

No comments: