While I was in labor with Bella thirteen years ago I saw my first wild tarantula. Most likely it was a male in search for a female – and now I have come to associate the approach of Bella’s birthday with tarantula mating season – and I see at least one every year.
One year Bella’s dad and I had one living outside our back door. Her hole was small, oval and cobwebby and she would sit right at the edge of her entrance and wait. It was really an excellent location because of the light above the back door. Sooner or later a moth or beetle would hit the light and fall to the ground stunned and she would sprint out at top speed, tackle the poor burnt beast and drag it back to her lair. She was there for two seasons before disappearing.
Chad and I saw this year’s tarantula on our run this morning. Quite a beaut – lean and leggy – and moving in a systematic way across the dirt path.
I didn’t have my phone to take a picture – but he looked just like this one here.
Today we also saw a 6-inch centipede in Bella’s room. Needless to say, she’s sleeping in the living room tonight, because we couldn’t catch it. Grosser still, there was a dead jackrabbit by my trashcan this morning. Yes, the kind that are practically as big as a dog. From experience I am imagining that it was caught (and partially eaten) by a local cat who considers my front yard part of his haunt.
(I thought a pic of a live jackrabbit would be more appreciated than the real one we saw…)