I have never seen a tarantula outside a zoo. Until today, that is! Conal said he’d never seen one at Murray Creek. When this one strolled across the driveway today, I was initially horrified. Then I saw how slowly and deliberately it moved, how its body looked fuzzy and kind of soft rather than icky, and I got more fascinated than scared. Having recovered from my initial wiggins, I followed it for awhile. I put my foot near it and took a photo. It sort of reared up in a weary “Oh for pity’s sake, now what?” kind of way, but didn’t seem too upset. As soon as I backed off, it continued ambling along, moving purposefully toward the northeast. It reached the edge of the driveway, climbed laboriously over the curb, then went scrambling and clawing its way up the steep hillside. A couple of times it chose routes that proved too precipitous, and would tumble back down and have to find another way around. It’s clumsiness lessened my fear still further.


Then a yellow jacket buzzed suddenly near it and it JUMPED, like, totally leaped sideways several inches in a split second. Since it obviously knew some wicked karate moves, after that I regained some respect and a bit more distance. It didn’t seem agressive at all, though, just careful in a defensive way. I mean, a yellow jacket sting would probably suck if you were that small, wouldn’t it? I’d jump out of range, too.

Back in the house, I could still see the spider from the window above my desk, making its way further and further up the hill in a more or less straight northeasterly line. Where in the world was it off too? A convention? A dental appointment? Those were some mighty big mandibles. I hope s/he has good insurance. I read that spiders eat all kinds of pesky bugs. Whatever its destination, I’m over my heebie jeebies and I wish this particular spider well.

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