And they are probably my greatest phobia. I cannot remember a time when I wasn't frightened of them and I have learned to be a brave little toaster. When Ian was small I tried not to pass on my issue... Instead of simply leaving until a responsible adult could come and remove the spider (what if it hid when I wasn't watching?!), or better yet moving to a new home - I would have him count to three and then I would smush them. I am aware this is not a charitable act. I know spiders perform a service for us, removing smaller insects which could harm us or our food supply or at least irritate us. But when they invade my space... all bets are off baby! No spiders suffered in the collection of the following snaps. As they were all outside, they were left in peace.
The little friend above was captured on film during our recent Canada trip. I swear I saw more species of spider on that trip than ever before in one place. Typically, you just get the ever present wolf spider. Huge and intimidating like the one below. Saw this one hanging out on the dock during one of our much earlier trips to Quebec. I can still hear Ian saying,"Mom! do you have any idea how close you are to that spider while you are taking that picture?!" I did not. A photographer's job is to distance herself from the subject while still communicating the complete icky-ness of the situation. I couldn't have captured that giant egg sack from 10 feet away! For perspective I think the planks of the dock are about six inches wide... so I believe Mrs. Spider was say 3 inches? And her future family perhaps one inch? Now, Getting out of the boat and onto the dock - that was another story entirely.
People enjoy torturing me with spiders. Here is Christmas 1984 upon which my generally loving and supportive oldest sister thought it would be hilarious to wrap all my presents with fake, plastic spiders embedded in the tissue wrappings. Yup. Hilarious. See a few down there near the bottom of the frame?
Recently, my boss retaliated against my purely creative, not at all scary April Fools joke by placing a live spider inside one of our product containers and tricking me into opening it by faking a packaging emergency. Did I mention it was live? I responded by calling him a very naughty, terribly bad name right to his face, so I guess neither of us can go to HR to make a report! (Okay - technically this guy is no longer with us. I may have given him a concussion when I flipped his lidded cup over before I knew he was inside. My bad. And I do mean the spider, not my boss.)
I didn't get a picture of my latest encounter. Remember my scenic drive back from Canada? Lovely fall colors, unique road side sculptures, pleasant conversation, and thought provoking books? About midway through the trip I was ambushed. I'm reading quietly when I look down on my lap. Now I had steeled myself against potential spider sightings on the dock, in the boat, the cabin doorway - no problem. But in the car on the way home? Not so much! Right there on my leg, crawling stealthily I'm certain toward a major artery, was a spider of moderate size.
Yes, I did Scream. Loudly.
No, the husband driving was in no way amused.
I apologized profusely and then spent the remaining five hours in the car wrapped in panic and nausea. You see, rather than approaching the situation with a crush, kill, destroy attitude, I was unprepared for it and I accidentally brushed the spider off my lap. Seriously. It is still lurking in the van.
Ah yes: So many spiders - so little time. Someone should put that on a mug!