Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Tale of the Seven-Legged Spider

The other day (before it got so cold and windy around here!) I was taking some photos on the back deck where we have some volunteer lettuce and sunflowers coming up in a half-barrel planter. I noticed a daddy-long-legs spider crawling around on one of the sunflowers. Digression: Do y'all call them Daddy-long-legs or Granddaddy-long-legs? I've heard it both ways. Or do you call them something else altogether? Anyway... Anyone who has spent a lot of time around RSR knows that I have a wee case of arachnophobia. I KNOW spiders are very useful for catching destructive insects and they spin beautiful webs, but they totally creep me right the hell out. It's all those eyes stuck at random places that do it. That's just not right. (Shudder) So I have drawn a line. If the spiders stay outside, I leave them alone no matter how creeped out I am. However, if they are stupid enough to enter my house, I assume that they are too stupid to live and I'm perfectly willing to send them to that giant spider web in the sky. Natural selection, y'all. But y'know, there's creepy and then there's CREEPY. Creepy is when you see a paunchy old guy with a long, gray ponytail buying black mesh bikini underwear. CREEPY is when you see him wearing them. Creepy is baby dolls who wet themselves. CREEPY is Bratz dolls, and serial killers, and mimes. For me, on the Official DebR Spider Creepitude Scale, Daddy-long-legs are merely creepy, not CREEPY. So when I saw one crawling around on my volunteer sunflowers I decided to face my fear (in a rather literal sense) and take some macro photos instead of just going "eeeuuuwww" and getting as far away from him/her/it as possible. I did the job pretty quickly, because I'm not THAT brave, so it wasn't until I pulled the photos up on the 'puter to edit them that I noticed that this spider was a little different. He was an amputee! Yep, I'd just done a photo session with a Seven-Legged Spider. I wonder what happened to him and how long ago. Do spiders re-grow lopped-off bits the way some lizards re-grow their tails, or if they lose a leg are they legless forever just like we would be? It didn't seem to slow this guy down any. Once he noticed me with one or more of his many eyes (shudder) he scurried away pretty quickly. But I got some creepy-but-cool photos before he left and my favorite of them is today's Daily Art Thang. "Portrait of a Seven-Legged Spider" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

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