Monday, June 04, 2007

Nooks and Crannies

Look who visited me at my desk today.
I admit it. I. Freaked. Out.
First, I ran to my Tupperware cupboard convinced that Tupperware would save my life. After much MUCH screaming and cursing I captured the spider in the little bowl, made sure the lid was on tight and then put a book on top of it just to be sure. (It was Colleen Gleason's new book Rises the Night which is AWESOME btw).
Anyway, with only a thin layer of plastic protecting me from the ugly little arachnid I did some internet research.

At first I thought for certain it was a black widow because I remember black widow spiders have the red markings. Well, yes and no. The red hourglass marking is on the underside of a black widow's abdomen. My guy definitely was red on top, not down below.

Turns out my visitor was a redbacked jumping spider. Not venomous. Whew! But painful bite when threatened. I looked over at my friend in his Tupperware jail. He looked pretty pissed. Uh oh.

I don't have a very good history with spiders. A few years ago I attempted to rescue my daughter from a daddy longlegs on the ceiling of her room. I stood on a chair. Fell off the chair. Shattered my elbow requiring painful and ugly surgery. Since then I've had a live and let live attitude about spiders. Usually I get my 9 year old son to capture them and set them free outside. But he was at school. And Mr. Redbacked Jumping Spider could probably jump. Possibly at my face. Shudder.

I did the only thing I could do. I introduced Mr. Redback to my toilet bowl and flushed. Of course I'm not sitting down on that toilet seat any time soon. Just in case...


Holly Kennedy said...

OMG, Wendy, that spider snapshot freaks me out just looking at it.

Love your blog author photo, btw. It's absolutely adorable!

Wendy Roberts said...

Hope you don't find any of these freaky guys at your place, Holly.

Thanks for the comment on my author photo :)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Hmmm. So that's what those are. Doesn't matter really, except now I don't have to worry about wearing sandals when I stomp on one. Another thing about black widows is they aren't hairy at all. Anything around here that looks like it's not-hairy with a big bulby butt gets flattened. I'm not waiting to look for the hourglass.

The photo is a hoot, Wendy.

Wendy Roberts said...

You're right about the bulby butt LOL. I know everyone says spiders are good 'cause they kill all the bad bugs but, hey, I can't live with either!

Colleen Gleason said...

UMMM....ugh. I hate spiders too. Hate hate hate them.

Ugggggh.. I'm getting horrible shudders just thinking about it!

Rachel Vincent said...

We have Black Widows in my flowerbeds and brown recluses on occasion in the house. But the real problem out here is scorpions. I've been stung in the bed. Not fun.

Wendy Roberts said...

Colleen, sorry to give you the shudders but at least your great book was right there when I needed it ... kind of like you always are :)

Rachel, I think I'd give up gardening if I had to deal with Black Widows, brown recluses and scorpions!

John Elder Robison said...

I used to have a live and let live attitude toward spiders, too.

My father got bitten by a brown recluse spider, and with all the complications, he died.

And that was the event that led to my writing Look Me in the Eye.

best wishes,

Wendy Roberts said...

John, how positively awful! Okay, I've decided to be spider vigilant from now on.

Lee McKenzie said...

LOL, Wendy! So glad you had the presence of mind to take the little guy's photo before you set him free ;-)

I often rescue other family members from the wolf spiders who take up residence in our laundry room, and rescue the poor spiders from the cats, who chew them up and leave a mangled mess of long, hairy spider legs on the floor.

Any chance you'll write an arachnophobe into a future book? My December release has a scene in which the heroine has to go into a dark spidery crawl space under a house - no, it's not romantic suspense, and yes, there's a good reason for it! It was a fun scene to write.