Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's what's on the inside that counts...

When we went on our trip this summer, we stopped in Kentucky - literally in the middle of nowhere - a friend has some property that's somewhat remote; the best way to describe where it is would be:

  1. drive down the highway (markings on the road)
  2. turn off the highway onto a country road (no markings but there's civilization)
  3. turn off the country road onto a gravel road (it's not a driveway!) - no houses - but there are barns... keep going for a few miles
  4. turn off the gravel road onto a dirt road (cows - birds - but not even barns)
  5. drive through a creek (I'm not kidding) - this is where we parked our car and joined my friends in their big van - the rental we had wouldn't go through a creek!
  6. turn off the dirt road (again, I'm not kidding) into a FIELD!
  7. drive through the field to a gate, stop, open it, drive through, close it to keep the cattle in, and keep going
  8. repeat number 7 two more times -
  9. drive a little longer - and round the bend to a dirt "pull off" - driveway spot... drive down the dirt - then gravel driveway to the picnic table and swing - we have arrived!

We had a wonderful picnic here of fried chicken and peach cobbler - it was good to hang out with my mom and these family friends - this is their property - acre after acre of untouched land. we went on a walk (about 1/2 mile) through the woods - through a dry creek, up and around a lake (which was also dry) and as we were rounding the bend back to where the van was, Gregg found a turtle shell!

I wanted to document this occasion, so I took a photo of him holding the shell - Gregg had been amazed at the bones that were laying around - from animals that had been eaten - this one was cool and our friends gave it to us to take home. We wrapped it up in tin foil to keep it protected and packed it in our suitcase for the long trip back to CA.

For Halloween, I sat it out with some other decorations - a cast "baby head", and a snow globe with a skull and a spider figurine in it... it was my "spooky display"
Then, a few days, later, I noticed something... a spider web surrounding the shell - we had a new pet! I showed Gregg and he said to just leave it. The housekeeper came in about 2 weeks, and she'd clean it all up - and it's kind of neat - spiders, Halloween... looks neat and spooky! (I was really surprised that he let me keep the webs... and that he didn't make me tent and spray the house down with bug killer!)

SO... here's the good part. On Friday, I went into the office to check my email and when I did, I saw a black shiny spider in the middle of the web - about 2" across (leg to leg) - and I thought - wow that's a big spider! I got a bit closer to look at it, and the survival classes I had kicked into gear:

you can't see it in this picture very well, but it's a BLACK WIDOW! - eek! - a female, and holy crap it terrified me! The bugger scampered into the shell again - and I (being dumb) waited for it to come back out - she didn't. I wanted to take a photo before getting rid of her... but my fears trump the "documentarist" in me (that's not really a word but I like it anyway) and we sprayed the heck out of the shell until finally she crawled out, and fell on the floor.

I took this right before squishing her. ICK! - so the moral of this little story is:
if you see a spider web suddenly appear in your house, don't keep it (even for decoration)! - get rid of it - you never know what's on the inside...
and the best part? Gregg was HOLDING a BLACK WIDOW SPIDER out in the middle of nowhere - yikes. I am still freaking out about it - what it he had been bitten?
I told this story to my mom and will share it with her friends - I am sure they already have an insect kit at their property, but I want to make sure they know what happened so that just in case they don't, they'll know to be ready if another spider comes to visit...


Elemmaciltur said...

That's just scary.

Anonymous said...

Is gregg your husband?

Cheaky27 said...

whoa! i'm glad you guys found her before she found you! so scary!

Dave said...

Okay, I've totally got the shivers now. Yikes. I think I'd have used a whole spray can of bug killer.

On the Noro stripey scarf, you just carry the extra strand along the side of the scarf -- it gets hidden in the selvedge. Don't cut the yarns. Knit with one for two rows, then pick up the other and knit 2 rows, repeat ad nauseum.

Judy G. said...

Yikes! Now every time you go out into the wilds of Kentucky you'll have to carry an insect bite kit.

Opal said...

What a horror story! I'm so glad the two of you escaped unscathed!

loopykd said...

I don't mean to scare you more, but it's more likely the spider was already here and found the shell after you put it out. Black widows like a drier climate than Kentucky and they are well known for being desert type spiders.

Jerry said...

SO THAT'S where she went...my black widow went missing off my guitar! I don't think they can kill people, I think they just hurt really bad? Actually, that's all spiders really are are living venom sacs. I like spiders tho.

You guys were driving through fields and what not??? Have you not seen SIGNS? Be careful in them thar fields!

knitseashore said...

That totally creeps me out. Of all the spiders to take up residence...we are in the middle of a ladybug invasion and that is *much* nicer!

I liked the books you showed in the previous post. Wouldn't it be nice to craft for the day job, and have rooms devoted just for that purpose?