Non-Aggression Pact

Outline of Large Wolf Spider I killed in 2015

I thought about Shelob, the monstrous spider, all day yesterday. I was born and raised and have lived in Michigan all my life, and never have I seen spiders as big as the ones I’ve found up here in Northern Michigan. The spiders downstate scared me, the large wolf spiders in the north are terrifying, and Shelob is so big that she is beyond horrifying.

Still, by late afternoon I had decided that maybe I wouldn’t kill Shelob because in the three summers we have lived here in the Enchanted Forest, I have not seen any sign whatsoever of Shelob or her relatives. I never suspected that she even existed until I flooded her home. It would indicate that she is not aggressive. In fact, I’m the one that invaded her space, not the other way around. So if she stays out of sight and doesn’t threaten my space, maybe we can co-exist. JJ stated, “So you are making a Nonaggression Pact with her.” Exactly.

But last night, I lay in bed with wide eyes, remembering…Not only did some of my family watch scary Saturday movies of monstrous giant spiders terrorizing a community, not only did giant villainous spiders attack innocent dwarves traveling through Enchanted Forests, but there was a period in which detective/crime shows all seemed to have episodes in which a Bad Guy would place or send a tarantula in a box to a victim he wanted to threaten. The tarantula always got out of the box, and it always sloooowly crawled across the bed toward the unsuspecting sleeping victim. It traumatized me for a lifetime. Last night in the dark I thought, “Oh, yikes, if I woke up to find Shelob sloooowly crawling across the bed toward me, I would freaking lose my mind.

This morning I told EJ that I really wasn’t sure if I could allow Shelob to live. EJ said, “Will it help to remember that cooler weather is coming and she will die soon?” Yeah, but her children will live on. I will never forget how she popped out of her hole and landed with a thud on the grass. Never. I’m still traumatized by Shelob. Every stick is a snake, every fluff of dog hair scurrying across the floor (Danny sheds a lot) is a spider, every hole is a lair, and everything I don’t see is something in hiding waiting to pounce.

Shelob’s Lair

Every time I’ve gone out to the duck pen, I’ve checked the hole and it is definitely as small as it was before I flooded it. I really don’t know how that HUGE spider can get out of that little hole to nab her prey.  I found an old garden sign and I wrote Shelob’s name on it and stuck it in the ground hear her hole–mostly just for a laugh, but also so I won’t forget it’s there and accidentally walk too close. I meant to stick it closer to the hole, but it took all my courage to place it where I did.

I think Shelob’s life hangs by a thread. Our Non-aggression Pact has to be renewed daily.

Yesterday EJ said that he had the Suburban’s window open and he felt something go into his ear as he was driving home from work. After supper he got a Q-tip rubbed it in his ear and pulled out a ladybug. Ugh. That reminded me that when JJ went to his doctor last year, the doctor told him that in the other exam room they had just pulled out a spider that had crawled into a kid’s ear. Yikes!

Last night Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was so cold that they had frost. We didn’t get that cold last night, although it was definitely sweatshirt weather today. Areas in Northern Michigan could get frost tonight. We don’t seem to be in the bull’s-eye area, but that’s not saying that we couldn’t get it. I’m not sure what it would do to our garden. Most of our tomatoes are still green, the cabbage hasn’t formed heads yet, there’s baby zucchini and squash not big enough to pick, and I haven’t harvested all my herbs. I put a couple of things in the dehydrators today, and then one dehydrator quit working. I need more time to harvest before any frost hits.

I also began freezing some of the chicken eggs in case the chickens stop laying in the winter. I found only four chicken eggs today. I hope they aren’t slacking off already!

 

Please pray for the people in Texas as Hurricane Harvey moves in. I have a dear friend down there. I’m rather concerned about her.

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16 Comments on “Non-Aggression Pact

  1. This is exactly why I never leave my truck windows down..I always use the air conditioning and I’d rather get in a super hot truck after having the windows up all day, than to risk having a spider crawl into an open window and drop down on me while driving..ughhh.. How I hate spiders! 🙋🐦

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    • I totally understand! Every now and then I go around spraying the house in case there are hidden spiders lurking. And I spray the winter boots before I use them again in case a spider has moved in over the summer. (Shudder)

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      • I buy these fruits called monkey balls or spider balls at the farmers market. They are about the size of a softball, green and wrinkly. They only cost about $1 each and they actually work at repelling spiders in our basement and garage. I get them every fall. Google them..🙋🐦

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  2. That is so AWESOME you have a non-aggression pact with the spider. At least she is harmless so there is no point in killing her, I don’t kill anything unless it is harmful, such as brown recluses, mosquitos, tics. I have yet to understand why were created anyway. On occasion I also kill an annoying fly, or just open the door so it can leave. I have began a new journey lately and I understand that all life in the universe are one. The more we understand who we are the better we are as humans and the better our life (including our health) will be. Great post as always!

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  3. You didn’t have to form a non-aggression pact with Shelob. Shelob wouldn’t have bothered you if you didn’t bother him. I’m sure you’ve heard this a dozen times, but it’s the truth….

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      • I understand. People do have phobias of spiders. My advice is-don’t fear creatures just because they are different from you. I think people fear spiders because they have eight eyes and legs and look and act so differently from us. Yet at the core, we are not much different from them.

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      • I remember that when I was a kid, there were a lot of movies and TV shows in which a bad guy would send the hero/heroines a tarantula. Usually the tarantula would slowly crawl toward the unsuspecting heroes, and at the time we believed they were venomous (I don’t live where there are tarantulas so I didn’t know). That scared me to death. I suspect those shows didn’t help me like spiders.

        I did try to teach my son not to be scared of insects (for brevity, I’m grouping all creepy crawlies as “insects” whether they are or not). We used to go on bug hunts to find interesting bugs to observe.

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      • I see-so that movie must have evoked the phobia response for you. That is quite understandable-it would have done the same for many.
        I think that what you could do is just go out in the field to be around spiders. I would start out with something that seems less menacing, like the jumping spider for instance. You can read about them on my blog: birdsandbeeshideout.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/the-cutest-spider-in-town/.
        I don’t know if you have seen the videos of Lucas the spider :https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lucas+the+spider&qpvt=Lucas+the+spider&FORM=VDRE

        These videos may help you start to see the jumping spider in a positive light. They are mammalian in appearance, small, fuzzy, and docile. Therefore, they are a good spider to be exposed to if you are phobic.

        The wolf spider, admittedly, is one of the more “scary” looking spiders. It can grow very large and will often pop up as a surprise when you move an old log. It moves quickly and many tend to fear it since they feel that it will suddenly run at them (though in reality, it is actually running AWAY). It also carries its young on its back, which grosses people out, since there can be hundreds of thousands of tiny spiders on one wolf spider mother’s back. Since human mothers only carry a few infants at one time, we can find this to be strange and revolting. Truthfully, the wolf spider does tend to bite more than other spiders if handled, I believe. Yet the thing is, in my experience, they have not stuck around long enough to do so. They fear humans and run away readily.

        Also, tarantulas are popular pets. Have you ever seen one in the pet store? You could ask to see it up close next time you are there. I’m not sure if the store associates allow it, but you could ask once you are comfortable enough if you can pet it or feed it. You will find it is a fascinating creature and there is no reason to fear it.

        On another note, tarantulas are slightly venomous, and therefore there is a reason to be wary to a degree. However, most tarantulas are not venomous enough to cause substantial harm to a human (pain and swelling is probably the worst that could happen). The ones sold in pet stores are definitely not the deadly kind too.
        That being said, I wouldn’t say that there are no reasons to be cautious about spiders. There are two real concerns: allergies to spider bites and deadly spider species. Don’t be fearful, however, as these two concerns are easily addressed. =)

        If you are allergic there is a chance spider bites will cause significant injury or harm. This, unlike a phobia, is a realistic concern, You could consult with your doctor about this issue and they could help you identify whether or not you are. In this way, you would be dealing with a real fear, and you could reasonably say whether or not there is any true reason to be concerned about a spider in your home. Still, that being said, again, spiders don’t bite without a real reason.

        As for deadly spider species, they do exist. However, in my entire lifetime, I’ve only seen one in a zoo. In fact, you would actually have won a spider jackpot if you manage to find one of these rarities! You have probably heard horror stories about people who have been bitten by a Black Widow spider and died overnight. This is not realistic, because, trust me, if you are bitten it will be obvious something isn’t right with you physically and you can seek medical attention. Also, black widow spiders have a clear red hourglass marking that make them unmistakable. The other deadly spider, the brown recluse, is also distinct in its appearance. Though at times people confuse other spiders with these two deadly ones, research can allow you to learn how to identify them. Deadly spiders also are like the rest-they don’t bite unless you threaten them.

        One last note-spiders are not insects, they are arachnids. They can, however, be called bugs, which is a more general category. I wouldn’t call them insects….many arachnid enthusiasts will be unhappy with you (but, hey, we are all still learning!).

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  4. I forgot to include this very helpful website: https://www.verywellhealth.com/spider-bites-1298281

    It tells you realistic reasons to be concerned about spider bites. I would read this article so that you can rationally figure out if you should be wary of your spider neighbors.Phobias are often due to misinformation, so if you know the facts you will approach the problem more realistically.

    By all means, if you find out from your doctor that you are allergic, I think you have every reason to be cautious around spiders, but in the end, many people who are allergic are still fascinated by them. The deadly spider species are not something to lose sleep over, and, again, consider yourself extremely lucky if you ever see one…well, ever!

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