Friday, September 10, 2010

Spider Causes Postponement of Friday Shootout

Okay, we had our fun with the spider.  Now it was time for the Friday Hometown Shootout.  Lines and stripes.  Lines and stripes.  I'm thinking about church spires, bridge struts, and about to get into my car when I feel like I am being watched.   I turn slowly to the corner of the garage...

...and THERE SHE WAS!!!!

I started to pulling my camera out of the bag.   This time I wasn’t going to assume she’d still be there in thirty minutes.  But by now, Aragog had my number!  Before I could finish unzipping the camera bag, she scampered upward and to the right!

Her web might not be symmetrical, but she sure knew where the silk express lane was. I didn’t realize how fast spiders can move when they want to.  Do you know that a spider can outrun a cheetah in any distance shorter than 2 meters. I reminded myself to stay a bit further away from her web.

On the other hand, Aha!

BUTLER: “What kind of strange sentence construction is ‘On the other hand, Aha!’?”

Ignoring Butler, I repeated myself.  On the other hand, Aha!  I now had seen her direction of escape. And I will mark it on the photograph below.

Please note the "Lines" of the ladder -
My Friday Shootout Contribution.

My first thought was that she had scampered all the way up to the top of  the step ladder from which she was preparing to drop down on me from above, wrap me in her silken shrouds and suck me out for dinner. By now, however, I was one very determined black widow naturalist. So I finished arming myself with my trusty camera and returned. Watching the ceiling above me, I set the camera on the floor under her nest (but greater than 2.1 meters away) and shot a picture looking up.

Checking it out in the camera, I could not see her, but I spotted her egg sack.

Egg Sack (and more nice lines for the shootout)

I whispered the words again, slowly so I could take in their full meaning – “Egg sack.” According to what I have learned, approximately 200 spider eggs are in each egg sack.

I whispered the words again, slow, so I could take in their full meaning – “200 spider eggs.”

My wife called from inside the house, “By the way, Mark! Did you ever get rid of that spider?”

I groaned back, “Almost, Honey! I’m working on it.

Somewhere in a dark step ladder crevice, Aragog lurked. I could hear her soft, crackling voice daring me to reach in and try to take her eggs.

Instead, I scooped up the camera and ran back into the house, slamming the door and blocking it with a chair wedged under the doorknob. Struggling to make my voice sound matter-of-fact, I suggested to Karen, “I think we should start using the back door when we come and go. We could use the exercise.”


  1. Terrific post, Mark!
    Whatever will you do for fun once you do get rid of the spider(s)?

  2. I can't wait to see baby spiders all over the place!

  3. Ohhhh, in my old house, every time I got rid of them...more followed. I think they send out messages or code to their siblings, so careful...he he

  4. Wonderful Mark..I love your posts!! Ackkkk I love the spiders..especially to photograph..but 200 little ones even gives me the creeps..ickkkkk! Have fun with that! Wonderful shootout hon as always!!! :)

  5. Eeeeeoooouuuuuw! Is it really a black widow?

  6. I am not scared of spider, but if it's the black widow then slap it!! Love your story next time around...^_^
    Lines and stripes

  7. Unless you have no intention of killing Ms. Spider and eggs, reach for the spray insect killer. She will come scampering and you can get her too. I have utmost respect for nature but not dangerous critters. Be brave Mark. We are on the trail of a mouse,who left his or hers calling cards.

  8. This spider saga is a cliffhanger! Even if it turns out to not be a black widow (was the tell-tale hourglass on her back?), which I hope it does, this is a great story. You appear to be a very merciful stalker of this spider, and I hope it ends well for both of you, woops, all 202 of you. Re-read Charlotte's Web!

  9. what I noticed is how clean your garage looks compared to ours. We have spider webs everywhere.

  10. You know how to jerk my chain. I just had to Google the image and this is a brown widow spider egg sac. The black widow spider sac is smooth. You will be happy to learn that the brown widow spider is venomous with the hourglass marking and has been invading across the U.S. by automobile from Florida. They like to nest in cars..Aha, as you may say. They are more poisonous than the black widow, but inject less venom and they are shy and retreat from man usually. I suggest some insecticidal dust before those babies hatch.

  11. Your spider hunt is freaking me out! I have too many memories of spider hunts and would rather leave them buried deep. Good luck, Spider Man!

  12. OMG this is so funny. I had to go read the other posts to see what has happened and how it started. you have some great lines in the first shot even though you didn't post for it!!

  13. was that Anansi, or Charlotte or Insy Winsy? My mum didn't like webs, until we learn from Science lessons that webs trap flies.

  14. 200 eggs? imagine the tiny little critter crawling in your garage.....yikes!

  15. Your a good story teller. but I'm afraid of spiders. Good lines though.