Friday, June 29, 2007

Look What We Found in the Garage Today

Isn't that lovely?



Blogger John Dent said...

Oh man. The thought of having one of those in my house really really scares me.
It seems a lot of people are having spider problems these days.
I can't even pick up a bunch of bananas without sweating nervously a bit.

8:39 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


My wife found it. She's Scottish, from a Shetlander family. She grew up in a land of no dangerous spiders, scorpions, rattlesnakes... Not mention mountain lions and bears - all of which reside around our present home. (Oh, there are wild fires to think about too. Earthquakes. Landslides. Drought… But California’s worth it… I think.)

She was NOT happy to find the Misses with her egg sack, guarding her babies. I was called upon to take a bat to her, which I did with squeamish semi-efficiency.

11:58 AM  
Blogger clindsay said...

Dude, that's a black widow. You KNOW that, right?

12:01 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

La Gringa,

You know me, I'm an outdoorsy type of guy. Like living in the hills, etc. I know a widow when I see one. Actually, there's no mistaking them! She was rather huge, really, and showed plenty of red belly.

Yeah, I knew what she was. We've had a couple scorpions here, too, but they're no big deal in California. Black widows, though...

12:06 PM  
Blogger Tia Nevitt said...

Yup, that's a black widow. I remember them well, having spent 15 years in Arizona. Never put your foot in your shoe without checking it first! Especially if its been sitting around for a while.

12:11 PM  
Blogger John Dent said...

Tia- I check my shoes too- and I live in the UK ;)

1:35 PM  
Blogger Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I can deal with the bears, coyotes and psychotic moose we get around here, but that thing would have scared the bejeezus out of me. I hate spiders. We get these big fat ones that love the eaves of the barn, and--even though they're harmless--I used to take great pleasure in shooting them with a pellet gun. Yeah, I know that's sick...but it shouldn't surprise you.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Neth said...

Bah - the dangers of a black widow are way overblown. Especially in the West, you'll find them in the garage and really any dark, dry place if you look. Just keep them out of the main house and you'll be fine. Now if you find a Brown Recluse (or whatever name they go by in California) start considering serious pest control - their bites are much more nasty.

3:34 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


The Brown Recluse is something of a controversy here. I know Californians fear them, and I've know people who say they were bitten by one. But we looked them up on line recently and several websites claimed that there was no physical evidence that there were brown recluses in California. Anecdotal evidence, sure. But nothing concrete. No actual spider caught in the wild.

That's weird, but these did seem like credible websites. It's got my confused. And if it's not a Brown Recluse causing those flesh eating bites what is it?...

3:44 PM  
Blogger John Dent said...

Magnolia1240 and Countess D'if from the Terry Brooks forum have had problems with Brown Recluses, I think.
But that's Nevada and Missouri.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Tia Nevitt said...

My husband was bitten by a brown recluse when we lived in AZ. It took weeks for the festering to clear up. He was lucky, because it did clear up eventually.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Constance Brewer said...

Eww. I accendentally clicked on the picture and got larger than life size. Ewww.... I'd rather deal with the rattlesnakes than spiders. At least they give fair warning.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's pretty awesome! I love looking at insects. Love how she's so glossy and the cottony appearance of the silk. (Nice photo by the way.) We live in the woods of Central PA so we get all sorts of stuff. I would love to see a black widow up close.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Gabriele Campbell said...

Eeek. Simply eeek.

Can you tell I have arachnophobia? ;)

11:31 AM  
Blogger Neth said...

In Arizona there a couple of species of 'brown recluse' spiders - though not the same species that is infamous in other parts of the country. My understading is that the bite is just as bad (thankfully I have no means of verifying this). The same species that live in Arizona also live in California.

12:12 PM  
Blogger clindsay said...

My brother's dog nearly died from a brown recluse spider bite when we lived in the San Francisco suburbs.

5:16 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Little did I know that my spider photo was going to be one of my most talked about posts!

I was on the road yesterday, moving house. No, not because of the spider. We're down in Fresno now, where I'll be teaching in the fall. Fresno is certainly no escape from Widows, though, nor that mysterious Brown Recluse - depending on who you believe.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Erin Underwood said...

Oh, my, gawd! I have such a fear of spiders. You've totally freaked me out. I stayed in a house with these suckers once and I swear to you, more than once, I ran outside screaming.

Now, when I see a spider, any spider, I get the biggest baddest "thing" I can find within easy reach and smash the heck of the the critters.

I have goosebumps. Ick.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Steve Allan said...

Did you find a web with the words "Some Pig" on it?

8:33 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

There was something written in some sort of demonic-spider tongue... I averted my eyes, though, and struck at it with said bat...

12:01 PM  

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