Friday, November 18, 2011

Spiders I Live With

The extreme arachnophobia I've had most of my life has proven quite the challenge for my chosen occupation as a market gardener.  I feel like I have adapted fairly well although the occasional black jumping spider appearing from nowhere still elicits a high-pitched girly scream that causes me embarrassment even though the dogs are the only ones that usually hear it.  "They" say that you are always within six feet of a spider.  I think I might be more like within six feet of one hundred spiders most of the time.  I mostly try not to think about this.  When picking vegetables I try to focus entirely on the prize and not on what may be sitting right next to it.  For the most part this works.  However every summer I have a handful of spiders that become residents.  I appreciate the fact that I can count on them always being in the same place day after day.  This makes it easy for me to work around them, although I did take a lot of crap this summer from III every time he saw the mess of cherry tomatoes behind the webs of the two guardians I worked around.

The guardians were a pair of black and yellow garden spiders I never got around to photographing all summer.  I did, however, take a few shots of one of their sisters that lived next to the greenhouse all summer.

I think these garden spiders are beautiful and I love how predictable they are.  We have tons of them around here but this summer I let five of them live in my daily routine.

Another spider I had to make room for was a green lynx spider living in a volunteer zinnia plant.  On three Fridays in a row she was on a flower that I cut and nearly caused me cardiac arrest when I saw her practically in my hand.  Finally I conceded and cut around her for the rest of the summer.  I'm glad that I did.  This was her in November guarding her egg sack on a tomato plant.

While we try really hard to not kill a spider around here (unless it's in the house...all deals are off in the house) this weekend two spiders in particular are either going to die or be relocated.  For whatever reason my greenhouse has become home to a number of black widows this fall.  I relocated a few to the woods.  I killed two small ones.  But I have two large widows living in cinder blocks right now.  I covered them up with planters so that the Monster couldn't get to them until I decide what to do with them.  Man, they are pretty...and terrifying to me.  For some reason, I don't like to kill them.  But they make me nervous now that the Monster is running around.  He loves to stick his hand in the kind of places they like to live.  Unfortunately I know that getting rid of these two widows only opens up what is apparently a habitat they prefer for more to move in.  While I can live with an awful lot of spiders around here I may need to start researching how to repel a few....  


  1. Hey thanks for checking out my blog! I love yours! I am so jealous that you live on a farm. It looks like heaven. I would love to do that.

    Your dogs are adorable! I have a 1 1/2 year old golden retriever that i love TO DEATH!!!!

  2. Thanks Jessy! I wish I had known what you know about food when I was your age!