Thursday, June 28, 2007


Sal moved in when the first Peony bud opened up. When home begins to wilt Sal just moves to the next blossom. Sal's days consist of sitting completely still with arms outstretched waiting for some hapless and unlucky bee to fly within reach. Sal is obviously not big on the camouflage idea. I never saw Sal with a bug in hand. I wonder if Sal could use some pointers. Like being yellow and living in a red forest may not be the best hunting tactic.

When bothered by my clumsy attempts to get a closer look, Sal does not back down. An aggressive little squatter, Sal pumps itself up and throws those little spider arms as if to say, "Dude, one step closer, it's beat down city!"

I named Sal Sal because I am not totally sure which side of the gender fence Sal hails from. Being a spider, there is a good chance Sal is a lady. Drawing on my weak memory of biology class, Discovery Channel bug expose's, and the occaisional National Geographic insect extravaganza, I seem to remember that guy spiders generally have a have a tough row to hoe in the arachnid world. They are puny providers of genetic material and then become a handy taste treat for the Missus. Sort of like my brother's 3rd wife. So Sal is most likely a her. But I hedged my bets by using a name that could bat either way.

Sal will be moving to greener pastures soon. The last Peony blossom just opened up. I wish Sal all the luck in the World. And all my condolences to her late mate. He may have been the only meal Sal could catch.


Noah said...

I had to rid my new apartment of a small (for the breed - legspan of a 50-cent-piece) wolf spider last night. Her name was Gretchen. Definitely a female, as she was missing the large pedipalps of the male wolf spider.

I love that stance that spiders take. Gretchen wasn't any less defensive than Sal, but I didn't particularly want my wife to find a spider in our new place.

I don't mind wolf spiders or jumping spiders as they keep pretty much everything else under control. Unfortunately, they also result in my wife screaming bloody murder for me to "kill it!"

I couldn't bring myself to destroy Gretchen, so I set her free out back, where she'll have to fend for herself among the Orb Weavers that have made a home on my balcony.

Great post :)

MRMacrum said...

Noah, you obviously have a finer tuned knowledge of spiders than I do. Pedipalps? Almost sounds like friendly shoes. At least if you remove that last "P" in "palps".

Personally, I like spiders. I find them fascinating. And I know they help to keep the other insect populations in check to some degree. And while my wife does not like them close, she too understands their importance and coolness. We will only deport them if they prove obnoxious. Thatis of course if the cats don't get them first.

An afternote - Apparently Sal has a new buddy now. A smaller spider of the same type has taken up residence in the same plant. Now it is Sal 1 and Sal 2. The original Sal also looks to be pregnant. Either that or Sal1 needs to lay off the flies for awhile.

Noah said...

I like spiders as well. I just evicted a brown jumping spider in front of my wife yesterday. It kind of freaked her out, as I got the stepladder out and coaxed the spider onto my finger so I could release her outside. Jumping spiders rarely bite people, and their bite is harmless even if they do.

I found my youngest cat playing with a genuine brown recluse spider last night. I am pretty good at identifying spiders, and for good measure, I looked up a picture of a brown recluse online just to make sure. There was no coaxing this male recluse onto my finger, nor was there any chance I'd let it survive. It got chased into a red plastic party cup and doused in isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes before being flushed down the toilet.

Wolf spiders don't phase me. Jumping spiders, brown spiders, orb weavers, banana spiders, or any of those are great as far as I'm concerned. Recluses? They can die. I was tempted to ignite the alcohol that killed the spider, but I restrained myself.

Pedipalps, by the way, are the large fang-like legs near the mouth of the spider. Often-times, you can determine the sex of a spider by the shape and size of the pedipalps.