Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Spiders on My Front Porch

In early-July a very large spider showed up on my front porch, making a big, bad web in one of the corners. We didn't notice it at first. Then one afternoon while Chip and I were enjoying a glass of wine on the front porch, I saw it. There it was perched just a few feet above Chip's chair. I freaked out, of course. Chip was kinda grossed out, too, because the darn thing was just so big.

I read about it at Dave's Garden, found out that it was a black-and-yellow argiope, that wasn't poisonous, and that it was probably a female. We decided to leave her there and leave her alone.

A few weeks later, I was sweeping off the porch and cleaning up the patio furniture when I saw that she had shed her outer skin! Yuck!! I must have jumped a mile when I saw that skin blowing in the wind on my front porch.

Then, just last week ANOTHER black-and-yellow argiope, a little smaller than the first, showed up and made a web right outside my office window. I read that this smaller one was probably a male.

Once again, we decided to leave him alone because he wasn't hurting anything by being there.

After a few days, Chip and I started to change our minds about these two. Anyone who walked up on to the front porch could easily see our spider collection, and we were beginning to feel a little like the Addams Family. Neither of us said that we thought the spiders should die, but neither of us really liked where they were. Sunday Chip went outside to turn off the sprinkler in the front yard. He got a little carried away with the water hose, and in a matter of minutes the spiders were sprayed from their webs and smooshed.

Had they been on the side of the house or somewhere a little less noticable, I'm sure these spiders would still be alive. I'm not the kind of person who will catch a bug in the house and then go let it out outside. Nope. If the bug is in my house it deserves to die. Inside is my realm. But outside is their realm. Outside we should be able to co-exist. I feel bad that the spiders got smooshed, but I certainly feel a lot less anxious about going on to the porch now.


Leah Maria said...

That gave me the creeps! I agree, if you are inside my house, then you are not going to make it outside alive if I have anything to do with it. I have wouded myself (with a freaking knitting needle too!) trying to kill a nasty huge spider before.

sm2 said...

Amen. If it's in my house, then Daniel has to kill it. We've killed 3 black widows in the yard this summer, which really freaks me out. We've been spraying a perimeter, so hopefully none will make it inside. Oh spiders give me the creeps.

Kathryn said...

Ack, I feel kind of sad...I met that spider, haha. And yeah, it was kind of exotic outside and everything...but if the weather had turned cooler and I'd run into it INSIDE your house I'd probably have lost it, poisonous or not. How long are their life spans?