I Don’t Like This Spider


An understanding exists between myself and spiders – polite spiders can stay, uppity wanderers are shown the garden. This spring I said “welcome back” for the third year to a well mannered black widow who fancies a vent in the frame of my bathroom window. Several weeks ago a small widow moved to a quiet plot beneath the bedroom window frame. The epitome of graceful respect, the world would be a better place if all house spiders took a page from the widow book.

Clearly spiders will be spiders, just as some people grind my last nerve, certain spiders are oblivious to matters of decorum. Of course spiders don’t  conceptualize cause and effect, driven by instinct they go about their merry way without cumbersome moral restraint.

Household spider sightings elicit urgent requests for immediate dispatch of arachnid horrors. At my discretion they’re shown the door, catch and release is the avenue of choice for cheeky spiders. “Off you go, stay in this lovely garden” usually solves the problem. Calm resolve ends the crisis in all but one situation. No quarrel exists with behemoth basement spiders or errant wolf spiders, the demon pictured bellow is another matter.

The photograph is lousy (taken in haste on my cell phone), I have no idea what kind of spider it is, all I can tell you – I don’t like this spider. It receives no mercy. Night after night it taunts me with unpredictable actions and glassy eyed defiance. Lurking under my pillow, uttering taunts from ceiling, wall and blinds, laughing brazenly when opening a drawer. Much as I want to say “out the door you rascal”, relentless bullying forces “take that you little shit” as I squash it in a tissue. I don’t like this spider.

2016-04-21 22.33.46

Return Of Spring Spider


Happenstance anticipated my return from work, facilitating discovery of bathroom and bedroom spiders within moments of each other. Bathroom spider came first, announcing herself with curtsied flare through a tiny vent on the window frame. An unmistakable presence, expressed in polite display of her polished black belly. “Good evening spider” made it official – Spring had arrived. Mindful of missed signals or misinterpretation, bedroom spider stood in brazen watch beneath the sill. Not to be upstaged by bathroom spider, bedroom spider presented her lustrous belly with measures of respectful confidence. “Lovely to see you again” solidified Spring’s early return.

Steatoda Grossa (False Black Widow) moved in a few years ago. Skeptical at first, unclear over motive, manners or intent, we eyed each other with uneasy caution. Awed by their work ethic, meticulous awareness of spacial boundaries and indifference towards exploration – we made peace. A declaration stipulating acceptance based on one condition – land speculation is out of the question, build comfortable homes and stay put. A workable truce, broken once last summer by a second cheeky bedroom spider who went rogue, never to be seen again.

Be it bathroom, bedroom, kitchen or laundry room spider –  as if by command, they vanish at first signs of frost, retreating to mysterious realms known only to winter spiders. Oblivion engulfs Steatoda Grossa. Noticeably absent precedes nary a thought, all but forgotten until  stirrings of imminent spring mark their return. Today was that day.

Gentle rain forest winter spared Vancouver tongues uttering arctic out-flows, polar vortex, deep freeze, windchill, or snowfall warning. Despite bold daffodils towering six inches above rain soaked soil, blooming crocus and snowdrop, rosy plum blossoms tossing caution to the wind – February’s winter fury remained fathomable.

Forget groundhog shadows or Farmer Almanacs, dismiss calendars and weather channel designations –  when spiders reclaim familiar pasture in my home, spring has officially declared itself.

Steatoda grossa