mardi 6 octobre 2009

Don't fall in the bathtub

It seems that every year, when fall rolls around on schedule, people love to say that it is their favorite season of the year. I love fall, but I also love spring, summer and winter. Well, spring and summer at least. Winter is pretty grim, at least in Seattle. Paris is relentlessly grey in the winter, but there is so much going on, so many beautiful lights, and so many distractions and pretty things in shop windows that you can forget about the weather. And you can walk everywhere.

Back to fall. It is a lovely season, as seasons go, especially when it begins with an extended Indian summer, like the one we seem to be having here. But there is a downside: spiders. My tomato plants are a favorite place for spiders to build their webs, and so is my deck and the span across the front porch. Yesterday, I almost walked through a spider web and a big spider in my carport. They were blocking my car. I believe the spider had set a trap for me and/or Neko. Luckily, Neko is too short and I am too smart. Two weeks ago, I got behind the wheel of my car and nearly fainted when I saw that a small brown spider had built a web overnight between my steering wheel and my gear stick. What nerve! A week later, I came downstairs one morning to heat water for coffee and discovered a spider and web spanning the space between my faucet and the compost pot on the counter just next to it.

But the worst and most common spider experience, endlessly repeated and always traumatic, is when you push aside your shower curtain and discover a large spider lurking in the tub. I am always reminded of the scene in Annie Hall, where Alvy Singer says "Honey, there's a spider in your bathroom the size of a Buick."

I know exactly what he means.

The spider in the photo above just happens to be a wolf spider, which is the species referred to in the clickable article in the blog title, which takes you to a National Geographic article from last spring. If you fear and loathe spiders like I do, then you might find it interesting. According to Danish researchers looking at wolf spiders in Greenland, their increase in size and hunting season (YES, SIZE AND HUNTING SEASON) may be due to global warming. No wonder that spider staked out its territory across my compost pot. It's all part of a vast conspiracy to keep me away from the bathtub.