wordsfromanneli

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Spider Hideouts

32 Comments

Spider Hideouts

With all the bad weather we’re having, I took a mental trip back to sunnier days when we were in Mexico for the winter about twenty years ago.

Camped at Chacala, 360 kms south of Mazatlan, we often bought our fruit and vegetables from the produce truck.  One day, I lugged home three big bags of fresh vegetables.

“Coming to the beach?” the Captain 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 at the table I had set up outside and brought the vegetables into the bug-free trailer to clean 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 furry eight-legged critter about the size of a wolf spider was eyeing me from inside the bathing suit bra.

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

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 in the trailer, playing cards and relaxing with an Oso Negro gin and peach juice. I tidied up the last few things before getting into bed.

The Captain 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 hairy dark brown visitor had a body the size of my thumb, and his legs 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 right above my head,” I wailed.

I handed the Captain the fly swatter, and, in a shaky voice, told him, “If it gets away, 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.

It seems spider experiences run in three’s.

The next day we visited an open air market in a nearby town. 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.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

32 thoughts on “Spider Hideouts

  1. OM gosh, Anneli! No way, man. I am seriously a bit creeped out just reading this. I’m glad you and the Captain weren’t stung by those nasty critters. In contrast, I can’t leave my shoes or other items touching the floor because of the scorpions. The world around us wants to eat us alive!

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    • The Captain just laughs at me because I am a bit arachnophobic, but he doesn’t really like them to be too close to him either. Probably these spiders wouldn’t hurt me … much … but scorpions really scare me.

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  2. I don’t like them either, but to find one in my bathing suit of lurking above my head would definitely freak me out. I once had a scorpion run over my foot, and that was enough.

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  3. Oh those sweet mental sojourns.

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  4. I would have had the same reaction about not staying, if the spider hadn’t been caught. I’m okay with the small ones, but huge, hairy spiders…eek! Don’t even get me started on the HUGE palmetto bugs found here in the south.

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  5. Oh good grief. This was so scary. If my daughter read this she would have a stroke. I’m probably going to be creeped out all day because just before I read this I found a giant dead cockroach in the laundry room. We are plagued with those things in Phoenix.

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    • I guess we all have our pests no matter what area we live in. Here at home we have those big ten-lined June beetles – huge things that fly around at dusk looking for a back to land on. At least we don’t have cockroaches and tarantulas or scorpions.

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  6. Oh, dear. “The woman who kept looking at her boobs” cracked me up. Lol. I don’t mind spiders, but BIG ones… no thanks. Lol

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  7. I have a real phobia of spiders. Cross Mexico off my list!

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  8. I am a serious Spider screamer. My husband said that he now can tell the difference between a spider scream and a scream of pain from me (if I stub my toe or like the time I sprained my ankle). I would not have done well with your Mexican spiders.

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  9. You will have to take a gecko along for protection. They’d likely munch on those spiders!

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    • I think that big spider would have made short work of the gecko. The spider’s body was twice as fat as any gecko’s body I’ve ever seen and almost as long (except for the tail). For the rest of the spiders, great idea!

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  10. I like my spider sightings in the great outdoors 😏. I hope three were all you encountered!

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  11. We had once a huge hairy spider on the moscito net over our bed, this was in East Afrika. I held a shoe from the inside of the net and Ota took the other shoe to kill it from the outside. I was almost fainting. This was 48 years ago and it still makes me shiver.

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  12. Haha! That made me laugh. I worked in southern Mexico for eight weeks one year, camping in the tropical forest to survey jaguars, and teach school kids visiting from England and elsewhere. I soon learned that as mammal ecologist, I was first down the jungle trails in the morning and often straight into a human-sized web that some joker of an orb-weaver delighted in building right across the path. I soon learned to hold a piece of card in front of me. Needless to say, the kids’ reaction varied from fascinated to “what did I do to my teacher to deserve this?!”

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