Monday, September 29, 2008

Heebie Jeebie Alert

We live in the country. I've always known that on some level, but it really became clear this weekend. The professor had been out doing some yard work when he came barreling in the back door, rushed to the study, then headed outside again with camera in hand. I was doing laundry, thusly it didn't take much to distract me from that tedious chore and follow him out the door, intensely curious. I knew one of his hobbies was taking nature photos - hummingbirds, interesting flowers, creepy insects, bizarre cloud formations - so I assumed he'd found something curious to photograph.

I should've stayed in the house. Because now I'm afraid to venture into the yard for fear I'll tumble into something like THIS:

Now I know, for-sure-without-a-doubt, that We. Live. In. The. Country. And I also know without a doubt that pure evil exists, and it takes the form of arachnids with skull-like yellow markings on its seemingly armoured abdomen. The web itself was beautiful, perfectly formed and about four feet across. And there's the real problem. It was spanning two trees. In a place where I sometimes walk. AAaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh.

Now, here's the real question... what kind of spider is it? I have no clue. We couldn't find it in the library's Spiders and Insects book. I am positively convinced of its poisonous lethality, razor sharp pincers, and affinity for humans as an after-dinner delicacy. (That cricket in its web was just for show, I am sure.) So if you know what it is, let me know. And then I can have those warning and caution signs printed for our back gate!


darren said...

Spiders are evil. I was rewatching "Return of the King" last night, and was freaked out all over again by Shelob.

Zana said...

That's it! It's either a spawn of Shelob, or perhaps one of the acromantulas from Harry Potter. Aahh - it's all becoming clear now. {{shudder}}

The Brain said...

Growing up in Florida myself, I saw these all the time. We called them Banana spiders, but apparently, that isn't accurate. See for more info

Zana said...

Wow. "Black and Yellow Garden Spider" seems so benign and innocuous for such an evil looking creature! The scientific name is much better... Argiope aurantia. (Hey, and it does sound a little like "Aragog the acromantula", doesn't it? I knew it. I knew it!

kec said...

My wife looked at this and said, "oh! it's an orb spider."

Apparently she's not the only one that calls them that. See this (really really really long) url