Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Big excitement after a long morning. I thought the HVAC man would be here early today to check the air conditioner. I don't know how old the thing is or when it was last serviced, and I wanted to be sure it would get us through a hot Texas summer. He didn't show up until noon but it was worth the wait. He had to check something under the house and as he was replacing the panel on the outside of the foundation perimeter he nearly jumped out of his shoes when he saw this little critter hanging on the top edge of the panel.

I can't remember the last time I saw a tarantula in an urban setting. This one was about 3 inches long and seemed interested only in sitting on the panel where we found him. I had to go get the camera, of course. I wasn't sure how close I wanted to get but the spider wasn't aggressive in the least. They really aren't. People just tend to freak out when they see them. Well, I got the lens about an inch away from the spider, hit him with the flash a few times, and generally pestered him to pose for about ten minutes.
Only once did he rear up into a defensive position, and that was when I tapped him with a stick to get him to climb around to the light side of the panel.

Finally I got him into a jar and released him out near the back fence where there is a lot of ground cover and plenty of insects for food. My dog accidentally stepped on him and he went running for cover, which shows they're more scared of us than we are of them.

It wasn't til I got out my spider book that I found out tarantulas are nocturnal. No wonder he wasn't interested in posing. He was trying to sleep! I hope he or she sticks around. Maybe we'll have a tarantula family come July.

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