Spider Hideouts

 

 

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Camped near a beautiful beach in Mexico, we often bought our fruit and vegetables from the produce truck.  One day, I lugged home three big bags of vegetables.

“Coming to the beach?” Gary asked.

“You go ahead. I’ll be down right after I clean these veggies,” I grumbled, slapping at the tiny biting flies. I soon gave up trying to work outside and brought the vegetables into the bug-free trailer to clean them in my little kitchenette.

Done at last! Now for the beach and a cool swim. I hurried outside to bring in my bathing suit from the clothesline we had strung between two coconut palms. I was about to step into it, when I let out a shriek. A brown critter about the size of a wolf spider was waiting for me inside the bathing suit bra.

Anyone passing by must have gawked at the bathing suit flying out the doorway.

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I was late getting to the beach that day, and although the water was refreshing, I couldn’t relax. Other swimmers must have wondered at the woman who kept pulling away the top of her bathing suit to look at her boobs.

That evening, we sat at the kitchen table playing cards and relaxing with an Oso Negro gin and peach juice. I tidied up the last few things before getting into bed.

Gary had just finished brushing his teeth and as he came out of the bathroom he heard me GASP! His eyes followed my arm as I pointed to the corner of the trailer. There, clinging to the ceiling, sat the biggest spider I’d ever seen. The fuzzy dark brown visitor had a body the size of my thumb and could easily straddle a saucer. If I had been a screamer they would have heard me all the way to Mazatlan.

“And I’ve been sitting there playing cards all evening with that thing poised over my head,” I wailed.

I handed Gary the fly swatter. “If it gets away,” I said, shakily, “I’m not sleeping in here tonight and I’ll be on the plane tomorrow.”

“It must have come in with the vegetables,” he said, as he tossed its crumpled body outside.

And where had it been while I sat there cleaning them? I wondered. Hiding in the cauliflower leaves? How close had I come to touching it? Shivers ran down my back.

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The next day we visited an open air market. I admired the handmade wooden cutting boards and picked one up to study the grain. Something ran over my hand. I threw the board into the air and squealed, “Una araña!” The vendor laughed and seemed unperturbed as I pointed to the gigantic spider running in his direction.

I was having serious thoughts of home. But imagine missing all this fun.

39 thoughts on “Spider Hideouts

  1. Thanks. It really was a great holiday, but I’m not a fan of tarantulas. I know some people will be horrified to read that we killed one, but it was him or me. Out in nature I leave them alone, but in my living quarters….

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  2. Poor you! I understand your fear of spiders (especially if they are big, hairy and fat). I had such an adventure with a huge spider in East Africa. But with Ota´s help we killed the hairy big fat spider through the mosquito net. I was inside, Ota was outside. He took a shoe and I took one and we squished the monster spider. But let’s face it, not all of them are dangerous to us. But I agree, what do we know which one is- or is not. I hate spiders, snakes, crocodiles, and scorpions.

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  3. I feel your pain! I saw a fuzzy one about that size several years ago, and I remember it vividly. At least the spider and I were both outside. I would not have wanted to be in a trailer with one! Not for a minute!

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    • It’s one thing when you have the whole outdoors for bypassing them, but quite another when they are “somewhere” in the trailer and you have to go to sleep in it, knowing that it will come out in the middle of the night and try to make friends with you.

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  4. Ah…maybe it had a spouse and millions of kiddies. I always save spiders’ lives when I find them anywhere around my home..however.. from your description those would have been goners! Lovely photos Anneli, actually peaceful.

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    • I did it several times. I’d just reassure myself that there was no spider in it and then the thought would cross my mind – what if I missed it or it was hanging on somehow, and I’d have to check again. If I’d had a few extra swimsuits, that one would never have been used again.

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  5. Oh. MY. GOD. I’m petrified of spiders. I took photo of a gigantic one in a web on the outside of my house a long time ago. I don’t know where it is now, but it must be somewhere in the house. I wanted to prove to my northern family how huge the spiders were here compared to back home. And, I am a screamer. If I had been in your shoes, they would’ve heard me back in your home of Vancouver! My husband hears me scream from the other side of the house, and he knows what he is coming running to do. Fantastic photos, btw.

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  6. Spiders could scare me if they were ones I didn’t recognize. I was the Girl Scout who would pick them up and take them out of the tent or cabin. My son was the one who would put gloves on and carry mice and bats out of doors. I enjoyed the photos, your getaway story, too. Anneli, you are a great story teller!

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