Archives for the month of: September, 2012

So, finally Mr Spider, we have you on camera.

This beastie, hiding in the dark, is one of the first horrors that I saw after moving in here. I’ve seen it most days since I’ve been here, but as it lives outside my kitchen window and only comes out to play after the sun has gone down it’s been a tad tricky to get a decent photo. Must be shy.

Scaryness: 6. If you squint, this one looks a bit like a skull. Which is worrying. And the huge bod also has quite an eek factor, but it’s home is on the other side of my kitchen window, and I don’t have to see it during the daylight hours, so that helps bring the rating down a bit. If it moves inside for the winter, I may have to move out.

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A final visit back to a happier, sunnier, drier time when we could all waltz around our gardens without the aid of a snorkel.

This insanely proportioned guy has felt a twinge in the ol’ tripwire, and has wandered out of it’s hidey hole to have a look.  What yummy insect could have possibly landed in it’s trap today, it’s wings struggling and legs already wrapping themselves round in sticky knots as they try to fight their way loose? Oh, it was just some berk with a camera.

It was an accident though. I was trying to get a photo if it in it’s hiding position, when something else triggered the spider to come a’running. If you’ve read any of the previous entries by now, you should know that I’m far too much of a wimp to actually provoke a spider into action just for the sake of a photo. If one’s there, I’ll snap it, but I’m not getting any closer than I have to in order to take a picture. Modern photographic equipment doesn’t need the photographer to have quite the same proximity to one’s subject as it used to in days gone by. For example, when I took this photo I was stood in a narrow public highway in the French countryside, totally within the public interest.

Scaryness: 5. It’s not very big, but the odd proportions of huge body and tiny legs make it look like a steroid-pumped bodybuilder. Hit the thigh-pressing machines, scuttlebutt!

One of these two have starred on this blog before. Or at least, I think so. I don’t tag them, so I can’t track their movements. But I suspect that one of them used to live above the stairway. Possibly the one on the left.

But as the cliche goes, Boy meets Girl. Boy stares into Girl’s dozen eyes and sees himself reflected back in them. Boy falls in love with Girl. Suddenly the stairway ceiling just isn’t large enough. So they packed up their dead flies and moved across to the ceiling above the hallway. Much more room here to stretch their legs. All 16 of them.

And so now they lurk there all day, never straying too far away from each other. It’s actually quite touching. For cold-blooded evil freak-creatures these two are quite cute together. When I was taking this photo they just hung around there, gently prodding each other for five minutes. Sounds like a third date to me.

Scaryness rating: 6. Despite being closer to my head than the previous location above the stairway, I’m somehow finding these two less scary than I thought I would. Whenever I see them together, in my head I hear Sade’s Ordinary Love.
Of course, if they were to have spiderbabies which get in my hair, I shall murder them all.

Gerrorf my wall!

It was inevitable. With so many spiders in so few rooms a couple of different species would eventually meet, and maybe not get on so well. Why can’t we all be friends? Ebony and Ivory, together in perfect harmony, side by side on the piano keyboard, why Lord can’t we be?

Because we hate each other, that’s why.

These two spiders really don’t get on very well. Across wandered the smaller thicker one, not realising that this was the domain of the lankier one. Something was going to occur. It was going to be even more exciting than the mythical spiderslug fighting.

It wasn’t.

The long thin one stood it’s ground, poked a leg out at the advancing chubby one. I was expecting the smaller one to overpower the larger, to rush it and bite it and ping it off the wall. Instead the large one just fended it off from a distance, like a rangey boxer keeping the opponant too far away to do any damage.

And that was it. The fatter one just gave up and walked off. If you look at the photo closely, you can see the thin one waving a fist at the defeated.

Scaryness: 6. A combined moderate scaryness there, as they were both high up on the wall, not causing me too much bother.  But while neither were overly shit-your-pants-ish on their own, the two together and with the threat of violence in the air, I backed off a bit.

Ahh, I remember when the sky used to be pale blue all day, you could go outside without a dozen coats on and be able to sip water from a mountain stream without first needing a pickaxe to break through the foot of ice on top. It was last weekend.

This medium-sized blighter has probably got all eight of his furry gloves on about now, and is warming himself up with the thought of all the little children he’ll scare in the coming weeks as he scuttles across their floors.

What’s that!?

Sorry. I thought I saw something.

Anyway, this thing looks quite sinister, with it’s white cross on it’s back, as if on some sort of religious pilgrimage to free all sinners from their souls as it injects them with poisonous venom. A little research tells me it’s actually a normal garden spider, just one with clearer than usual markings on it’s back. I bet all the other garden spiders are jealous.

Scaryness: 7. Only medium-sized, but angular and suspiciously patterned enough to make you think that it belongs in a zoo somewhere, behind double-thick glass and a velvet rope beyond which you MUST NOT CROSS.

So, I managed to get myself out of my hiding place, gaze past the myriad evil beasts in the house and see that there’s sun outside! (This was written when there was actually sun outside).

 

A-gambolling through the fields and forests, I was, excited and relieved to be free of the tyranny of the arachnid hordes. Then a terrifying sight caught my eye. That familiar white lacey net of death. a web.
They have spiders outside now. Nowhere is safe.

 

So, I took a few pics, and will be sprinkling a few of these bastards in throughout the next week or so.

Exhibit A is above. A medium-sized little beastie sat in the middle of it’s web. So deceitful is this one, it can’t even bring itself to face me. Only a coward refuses to meet with his accuser. And when you have as many eyes as this thing, that’s quite an achievement. If you look closely you can see it even appears to be drooling. Get yourself a tissue, you horrible thing!

Scaryness: 6. Not huge, but you wouldn’t want to be walking nude in the forest, go between two trees, get caught in it’s web and have it scurrying up and down your naked sun-kissed flesh, it’s legs causing minor tickles of pleasure as they brush every folicle of soft downy hair upon your body.

Or maybe you would, you sick pervert.

 

Hearing of my unfortunate incident at the chopping board earlier, this kindly little fellow decided to make me a packed lunch. How kind!
I wonder what goodies could possibly be inside this tightly packed bundle.

hmm, it appears to be, errrr, a slightly digested housefly. Oh. Hmmm. I think I’ll pass. Thanks for the thought though, little fella.

Scaryness: 4. As small and almost cute as this one is, there’s something rather macabre about watching a spider wrapping up it’s prey. Maybe it’s the way it turns it round with two of it’s legs, spinning the silk over it’s corpse. Like a grandmother knitting some woolly mittens for the grandchild she’s just poisoned with her out of date malted milk biscuits. While watching Songs of Praise.

The Aled Jones of spiders.

Hmm, I’m hungry, and I also want to listen to Nihal talking to Bhangra legend Jags Klimax on BBC Radio 1Xtra. I think I’ll just chop myself up some chives and turn the radio on… SWEET JESUS JOSEPH MARY AND HAILE SELASSIE!!!

Those chives are going to have to wait, because this freak of nature has just wandered onto the chopping board. As you can see, it still has 8 legs, but if it’s going to continue to trespass in the land of the sharpened blade, that might not be the way for much longer.

I’m actually quite surprised to see the pattern on it’s thorax. abdoman. arse-bone. Whatever that back bit is called. When I first saw it and asked for a pose for the camera I hadn’t noticed that at all. Only now I’ve got the photo uploaded is it obvious that it’s the same sort as that other huge one I had in the kitchen. In case you’re wondering, this definitely isn’t the same one. This one is smaller. Even with it’s legs hunched up as opposed to stretched out, I could tell that it was smaller. It’s front bit, it’s fizzog, if you will, was also less evil and bitey looking.

Scaryness rating: 8. Smaller than the previous patterned kitchen-dweller, but it’s proximity to my chives and it’s Bhangra-blocking activities next to my radio make this a much more viable threat to my sanity.

Slug

Ok, this is cheating, but what the hell?

Spiders I can understand. I may be scared of them, but at least I know roughly what to expect. crawly things with legs and eyes and jaws and eek.
But then I went into the kitchen and saw this slithering about on the floor. What the hell?

So, large spider vs slug. Which would win? Who eats who? No way a spider could catch a slug in it’s web, but some have a nasty poison which could take a slug out. Or would the slug overpower the spider? Slither over and crush it under it’s weight?

Next time I shall attempt to arrange a match. Is spiderslug fighting illegal? If this blog is taken down in the near future, you’ll know why.

Scaryness: 1. Apart from the shock value of seeing it in my kitchen, it didn’t set my heart racing too much. In theory I could slip over it, like a banana skin. That’s mildly worrying.

Bedroom 2

Look!

Another sort of spider!

One with short fat legs, not long thin ones. Or long fat ones. But short fat ones. Like the kid from the The Krankees who’s really a woman.

Unlike The Krankees, this spider isn’t a swinger. I’ve not spied it descending upon a thread. It stayed high above on the ceiling. Which is more worrying than the wall, as I’m always thinking that the spider feet will become unstuck and it’ll topple down upon my head.

Scaryness: 7. It’s not very big, but it’s thickness makes it more intimidating. Oh, sorry, wrong blog. This spider is a bit scary!