(written 8/27/09)

I enjoy living in this part of Missouri, on the outskirts of the Ozarks.  I like waking up in the mornings and watching the mist rise over the creek as the sun comes up.  I like the clear fast moving water in the creeks and rivers.  I like the diversity of vegetation, although vining plants make upkeep a challenge.  I enjoy seeing the turkeys trot across the road in front of me, and watching the mothers rear their young.  I enjoy seeing the quail and their young trot around the corner of the garden in file, and watching the deer leap across the terrain in the bottomland.  It is, to me, a very beautiful and wonderful place to live.

It is an enjoyable place to ride horses, although I do this less often now.  And, it’s very nice to have Newf swimming locations where the water and the banks aren’t muddy.

There is a bird feeder (or cat feeder, depending on your perspective) outside the dining room window, hanging from an old clothesline post.  Each year, some volunteer sunflowers and millet grow beneath it, and I leave those among the irises.  There is a “wild” flower bed next to the bird feeder, and I put sunflowers in that mix and leave those for the birds too.  The goldfinches feed there all summer long, as well as the hummingbirds.

Newfs fit well into the blend here.  They don’t intimidate the outdoor creatures much, so we see a lot of creatures up close. This includes, however, the long black slithering beasts that are only mildly perturbed that you interfere with their path to gawk at them.  It is heart-startling when you nearly step on one without realizing it.  And, it is somewhat amazing, at least to me, that they look at you without worry.  Most wildlife have in their survival assets a degree of fear of humans, and dogs.

Then there are the other “wild” creatures, the butterflies that visit the “wild” flower bed, the beautiful June bugs, the array of crickets, Katydids and singing frogs, the chubby little windowsill sitters (frogs) and representatives from the diversity of the animal kingdom.  This year, there was evidence of a loggerhead shrike, as a June bug was carefully impaled on a barbed wire fence next to the drive.  But there is more to the diversity than sometimes would be preferred, and it is the time of the year when indoor spaces are being scouted/invaded for potential winter homes.

Yesterday evening, Greg came by to pick me up from work. The dogs (Office Manager & Apprentice) and I had walked to work that morning to enjoy the beautiful day.  So, the dogs would enjoy a forbidden ride in the back of the truck back to the house, with a human sitting between them and holding leashes, of course.  I was the last one out of the building.  As I reached for my laptop bag, my reflexes kicked in.  Something moved, and it was big and hairy and about the same color as that black bag.  This was not a typical Wolf spider, and it was the largest one I have ever seen, and the hairiest.  It was not a Tarantula, although those show up too.  It had orange dots along its abdomen, and a slender orange stripe along its carapace.  It was covered in a thick velvet.

There must be a specific biochemical, in addition to adrenalin, that is released under those circumstances to make you stop breathing for a moment so you can hear every detail of sound in your vicinity.  There is also the sudden surge that feels like an electrical shock when you have an immediate change in blood pressure.  At this point, reason tries to take over control of the circuitry.  I ran out to get Greg so he could see the new “wild” creature, and so I could not be accused of exaggerating of course.  (another meaning of witness protection)  Then I got out the camera, which was fortunately charged.  Greg held the bag up carefully so the spider stayed on the bag, and I got a photo.  Then we proceeded with delicate movement to the outside, Greg carrying the bag and me advising him to not drop that creature inside the lab.  I followed with the camera, where in the outdoor light, I hoped to get a better image.  The spider zipped to the bottom of the bag at that point, but didn’t drop off.  Greg is tall enough that he could hold the bag up while I took more photos.

The dogs waited quietly for us without interest, being patient while humans were acting silly again.  I was glad that they didn’t find it in the building before I did.  Not all fuzzy eight-legged creatures are good office guests!  Some are best removed to the outdoors, the sooner the better!

Wolf Spider in Office

Wolf Spider in Office

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012
This entry was posted in A Little Humor, Adventure is Where You Find It, Travel & Camping and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply