To Be Or Not To Be

I’m a member of a homestead group in which members share about their “little slice of heaven” and ask for and give advice. Last night someone (I can’t remember who) shared a photo of his leg where he (or she?) had been bitten by a spider. It looked like a large, nasty bruise. Another person shared a similar photo of a spider bite, which was taken after days of antibiotics because the bite had gotten infected. The likely suspect was a wolf spider, which they both believed had bit them at night as they lay in their beds. One of them said that he (or she) could see the marks of the spider’s fangs. EEEEEKKKKK! I lay in bed staring terrified into the darkness, and I began to have a dialogue with myself about the fate of Shelob, much like Gollum did when he debated with himself over whether to kill the “nasty hobbitses.”

People say that Wolf Spiders are nonaggressive, nonthreatening but Shelob’s very existence terrifies me. I hates them. I hates her.

Shelob is staying in her hole but can I trust her to remain there? What if she leaves and gets into the house, crawls onto the bed, and bites me! I can’t forget what the photos of the wolf spider bites looked like–or that one person said there were fang marks! Fangs! Like a vampire or a werewolf!

People say that wolf spiders are beneficial and eat “bad” insects. But exactly who determines which creepy-crawlies are “good” and which are “bad”? Shelob looks pretty villainous to me. What terrible things are out there that are worse than her so that she is good in comparison???

I decided in the dark of night that as soon as EJ left for work the next morning, I would kill Shelob. All I would have to do is pour a little toxic potion (like half a bottle) into the hole. Then she would be dead, and so (I hopefully assumed) would her egg sack be, and I wouldn’t have to fear her or her millions of children. EJ reminded me last night that Shelob will die soon anyway–in the autumn. He was trying to reassure me that I didn’t need to kill her, but I thought that “What did it matter if I killed her? All I would be doing is ending her life a little sooner.”

I felt like both Sam and Frodo arguing over Gollum’s fate. Gollum reminds me of Shelob. He even looks like a spider. Sometimes I am determined that Shelob should die, other times I think that now that I’ve seen her, for some reason, I pity her.

Despite my night-time decision to kill Shelob, when I went out to release the ducks and chickens from their coop this morning, I stopped at her lair. Shelob had done more repair work so that the entrance was built up like a chimney. And there was something white-ish lining the entrance. Is she using some sort of webbing to shore up the entrance so it doesn’t crumble? This is rather interesting. I have a unique opportunity to observe a creature in nature. Ok, so I will honor our Non-Agression Pact and let Shelob live. Today…today she lives.

I wonder if I would have been so eager to moved up North if I had known that there were very scary spiders up here. I wondered how far north a person would have to move before it became too cold for spiders to exist? Or does even the cold arctic have spiders–ferocious abominable snow spiders?

I decided that I would still have moved to Northern Michigan because this area is magical. There is so much to love–the forests, and lakes, and flowers, and deer, and turkeys, and rabbits, and much, much more. This morning I noticed dew-covered dandelions gone to seed, and grass covered with dew, and a pretty yellow flower. I enjoyed watching the rouen ducks splashing in their pool. (Click on photos to appreciate the detail.)

 

Every Eden has a snake, every superhero has his nemesis, and every Enchanted Forest has a giant spider. That’s just the way it is.

After EJ and JJ left for work this morning, I went out to the garage and found the orange extension cord. I snaked it through the little garage window and into the coop, and plugged in the Christmas lights. I have three strands of Christmas lights, but after making sure that they all worked, I kept only one plugged in–the one lighting the chicken side of the coop. The chickens laid only four eggs yesterday, so I wanted to see if they will lay more with extra light. They laid six eggs today, but I don’t know if it was the result of the lights.

The temperatures dropped low enough over night that I definitely needed a sweatshirt this morning. Brrrr. It warmed up some, but was still rather cool-ish. I liked it. It was absolutely perfect weather for mowing the lawn. When I mowed close to Shelob’s lair, I think the vibration of the mower and the grass bits blowing into her hole disturbed her because she poked her head out. “Don’t you dare come out. Don’t you dare,” I warned. She didn’t.

Our Non-aggression Pact seems to be holding for another day.

Please pray for the people experiencing Hurricane Harvey’s fury.

 

 

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10 Comments on “To Be Or Not To Be

  1. I support the idea that wolf spiders are beneficial. They eat mosquitoes and keep the population in check. Wolf spiders are also not aggressive creatures. People fear them because they look quite monstrous. However, they will only bite if they are threatened or if their babies are threatened.

    They definitely are not aggressive. They have that bad reputation because when people try to squash them or bother them they will defend themselves with a venomous (though not deadly) bite. They generally will run swiftly away from you to avoid getting killed. They are more scared of you than you are of them.

    The wasp has a reputation for being aggressive. However, I’ve been around plenty of wasps out in the field. They are not more aggressive than any bumblebee. They, however, will defend their hives in swarms if you are the disturb them. Yet, can you blame them? Wouldn’t you defend your home if someone were trying to break in? They are thinking the same thing!

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    • I usually let spiders be if they are outside. Same with other creepy crawlies. I find them interesting if I can observe them outside. If they are in my house or on me, I have a problem…

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      • Spiders in the home usually only happen when they are looking for a warm place to overwinter. Try to think of it like this-if you were homeless and cold and found a barn to live in but then a giant monster came in and tried to kill you, how would you feel? To spiders, WE are the monsters, afterall…we loom over them, squish them, destroy their homes, kill their babies, etc.

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      • Well, I can’t tell you what to do, but I personally would never kill a spider in my house. I let them live there for the winter and then they leave once the weather gets better.

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      • Thank you-I hope I do not sound too overbearing with my opinions. It is just that (I will admit) recently I have come across too many people acting unnecessarily fearful of spiders. My coworkers found a very large wolf spider carrying its babies on its back. They literally freaked out and acted like it was a monster. I was quite upset, because to me it looked like a caring mother that accidentally got lost while finding a safe place to care for its young.

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      • I think it’s awesome that you are so compassionate. I would like to be that compassionate towards spiders, but I’m one of the ones that are scared of them. I just don’t like creepy crawlies on me or in my house. I am interested in spiders/insects/etc. if I can view them from a distance. I tend to not bother them outside because I figure that is their territory. I did let Shelob live–and even grew interested in her–even though she was the hugest spider I’ve ever personally encountered and she scared me.

        I think the world needs people who can care about spiders to counter those of us who are scared of them. Keep speaking on their behalf and maybe some of us will get less scared.

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      • Yes, I agree with you. I understand that you have somewhat of a phobia, and many others do. I am glad you can see spiders as having a personality too. My advice is to think about the spider instead of yourself. If you focus on being kind to the spider instead of being afraid of it, you might be less afraid. For example, why not leave it a juicy tidbit near its home next time and see if it eats it? Or even just say hello to the spider that happened to move in next door, even if they can not say hello back. You will feel that they are a friend rather than an enemy.

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