02 February, 2008

Of Scarves and Spiders

I am sick. I have swollen things in my throat. I am dizzy and achy. I am primary school teacher! Ah ha!

Two big things happened today. I'll start with the smaller of the two, which is actually bigger. Anyway, this morning I hung out at the Knitting Sisters, took a quick workshop on fringe and pompom making, and now have two finished objects to show off:

1. Skinny Scarf, as wished for in this blog post:

2. Baby socks, for an upcoming camp GV baby (there seem to be so freaking many GV spawn in utero right now but I still want these to be a surprise gift, so I won't say which loving couple will be receiving these for their wee one's feet):

Hokay, time for the big thing! After coming home from grocery shopping, Kenny and I noticed that there were these little fuzzy dots all along the top of our walls and down the sides of our doors. Truth be told, I had noticed them a few weeks ago and swiped a few from our bedroom walls, but it wasn't until today's bright winter sunshine that we saw just how many there were downstairs in the living room. We whipped out the vacuum cleaner and went to town tearing them all down, noting that they were teeny little baby spiders (sorry, you lovers of baby spiders out there). We were in the middle of bemoaning our apartment's tendency towards insect invasions (anyone remember the ladybug extravaganza?) when I noticed, on the bottom stair, this behemoth:

"Holy crap!" I yelled, "it's a freaking black widow! Awesome!" Kenny hurried over to check out our find, and I told him about the only other time I've seen a black widow spider: I was little, crawling after my brother between the hedge and the house, and looked up from the ground just in time to go cross-eyed at the big black spider hanging right in front of my forehead. We were totally normal, black-widow-obsessed North Carolinian kids, and I felt both lucky and shit-scared to have found one. I think I recall Aaron not believing me, and I cried, and my Dad said that he believed me, but I knew he was just trying to comfort me. It was an emotional day.

Anyway, Kenny scooped up the spider and we did a quick Google search, and found lots of spiders that matched ours. Some had perfect hourglass patterns and some were like ours, two red halves unconnected in the middle. Whether or not it is an actual black widow, I can't be totally certain, but it's the closest thing I've seen to one in about twenty years. One thing the Internets seemed sure about was that our spider eggs were not black widow eggs (ours are translucent and soft, theirs are opaque white and spiky looking).

Here's the spider eggs on our walls. They're hard to see here, but there were many:

And here's my favorite shot of the spider:

Isn't that awesome?


Jenny Raye said...

Oh Jess, so sorry to hear you're under the weather! We missed you on Thursday night. Your spider is very creepy......I've seen one black widow. It was fairly small--yours looks tremendous! Were the red markings on the back or front of the spider? Shudder. Gives me the willies! Have a great Sunday!

Bereni (BEAR-wren-knee) said...

Hope you're feeling better, Jess. What a cool spider, but creepy. I had a black widow take over one of my flowerpots once. It was small and very glossy, with an hourglass on its belly. It was protecting an egg sack and was agressive! It seemed to charge out at you. It's web was really thick and sticky.

skippy haha said...

the shininess of that widow really comes through in your photos! sinister. what did you do with it? i just found one in my house this week too & i killed it with bleach spray.

skippy haha said...

jessica you are so brave to keep yours in the jar! i have dogs & widows can pretty easily kill dogs, so i dont feel terrible about killing mine. i hope yours enjoys the ladybug.

I'm on Flickr a lot.

Jessica K.. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr