Friday, October 03, 2008

The Recent Tally

Small glimpse into my personal life... Killed five black widows today. Didn't even go looking for them.

First one was floating in the pool. I thought it was dead, until it stretched. Just taking a dip apparently.

The second one was on a chair cushion. Flipped it over to see the widow, a mister, and... Oh, guess what? Lots of little, teeny-weeny babies. I thought this mother was dead too, flicked her off and was a bit dismayed to notice that, uh, she wasn't dead after all. (Note to myself - black widows are not dead until they are jelly on the bottom of your flipflop.)

Third, fourth and fifth I found in the space of about sixty seconds as I watered a plant that had been sorely neglected for a while. Squash. Squash. Squash. All in day's work for a Fresno writer.

By the way, I've neglected to tell you that before the kids left they found three widows in the house in a single day. Three. One crawling across the floor in the living room. One behind their bed, and one behind our bed. Lovely.

If I ever mysteriously stop blogging, you'll know what happened.

Having said that, I do think they're getting sluggish...



Blogger Corby Kennard said...


About the only thing I am afraid of, besides falling from great heights and drowning, is spiders.

Literally, I will run screaming from them like a little girl, and I hide behind my wife as she BRAVELY puts them in something and takes them outside.

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, *f*. I hate spiders so much.

Brown recluses though, amazingly, are even worse. You can recover... ish ... from a black widow bite, if you live. You never really recover from a recluse bite, even if you survive. Something about necrosis.

Anyways, anytime I hear about either spider, my mind fills with the swear words of fear.

2:42 AM  
Blogger Gudrun Johnston said...

So glad I'm not there to deal with them...well of course you would still be the one dealing with know what I mean...happy to have 6000 odd miles between me and those shiny menacing eight-legged beasties.....not so happy to be that far from you though!

3:38 AM  
Blogger Gabriele Campbell said...


I have arachnophobia, and the ordinary German house spider is bad enough, but black widows. EEEEK

7:46 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Ah, so you do read my blog! I guess that 6,000 or so miles of distance has that effect...


I wouldn't have thought this would happen, but a year and half in Fresno has made me much less impressed with the black widows. They still give me the creeps, sure, but I've dealt with them so many times now it does feel a bit routine. I guess anything can if becomes part of your day to day.


9:11 PM  
Blogger Dirk said...

That's weird. Chico isn't that far from Fresno and I hardly ever see Black Widows up here.

1:31 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Really? That is weird. I have to say, even some people here seem to not see them much, but I've stayed in three different houses in Fresno and seen plenty in and around each one. I also saw plenty when we were up in Three Rivers last summer.

But... Now that I think about it, I didn't see any when I lived in Coloma, east of Sacramento. Instead, we spotted a few scorpions, including one that we found in our bed...

1:37 PM  
Blogger Mark Lavallee said...

Nice. Sounds like it's time to call someone. I had a boss who got eaten, literally, by Black Widows one night. Had bites all over him. For a week they lanced those bites and drained them. Poor guy could barely sit down.

I have decided that I rather dislike spiders. Much like I dislike Mimes and artichokes.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Mark Lavallee said...

Okay, you must check out this link.

Just for you David. ;)

6:18 PM  
Blogger Corby Kennard said...

So, Jax, a common nightmare for you would then be an artichoke-bearing mime covered in spiders?

Come to think of it, that would terrify anyone.

7:11 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


Okay, nope, didn't appreciate that picture. That's cruel.

Nor did I love the story of the midnight mass widow attack. But... prompted by it, I did a little scan of my room before going to bed. Guess what I found? Just a wee widow in the far corner of the room. She wasn't very big, and my flipflop was more than enough to handle her, but, yes, I don't know if I would've looked if not for your story. So, er... thanks.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Mark Lavallee said...

You're welcome. Glad to be of service. ;)

3:46 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Just so you know, today...

I found a widow behind my mail box. Opened the garage to see if there was anything in there I could spray it with. Found two more hanging from the open door. Killed them, and then decided on the hose to spray the other out from behind the mail box. I did and then stepped on her. As I was standing there still with the hose, I noticed another one just up beside the frame of the front door. Sprayed that one too and stepped.

Did I say I was getting tired of this? Routine, kinda, but still...

8:00 PM  

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