Steve the spider and other friends

P1040768At this time of year, the light and airy bedroom facing the Med (rather unfairly referred to as the laundry room) can be a lovely cosy place to go and sit, even meditate, as it is either warmed by the woodburner chimney, or by the sunlight streaming in through the large windows, or both on cold days.

Washing line snow Maroma 6 Feb 15

P1070098There is still a fair amount of humidity around, so hanging clothes outside on the line is now possible in the sunshine, even though there is still snow up on the high ground.

The washing is then hung up in the laundry room, but the combination of heat and dampish cloths can sometimes resemble a sauna!  I’ve noticed gecko droppings (thin, hard, black with a white pointed end) in this room so it must be heaven for them and also ideal conditions for my new friend, a teensy weensie jumping spider who I’ve been noticing for a number of weeks now.

P1040761He or she (I called him Steve) was always wandering around the middle left window. Intrigued, I got out the magnifying glass and could see his black furry fangs move left and right as though he was checking out the area, looking for food perhaps? This put me in mind of how Navy minesweepers patrol the waters in a grid formation, up and down. What could he find to eat, being as he doesn’t seem to stray beyond that one piece of glass? There are no insects around, and he hasn’t woven any sort of cobweb, poor little chap.

I have to admit to a bit of a problem with spiders that started when I was about 9 or 10 and watching a really scary film on television; it might have even been Quatermass.  It was night-time and I crept out to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Big mistake – I didn’t put on either the light or any shoes; I was barefoot.  There was a crunch, I put on the light and there was something very black, very big and very squashed stuck to my left foot which my poor arachnophobic mother had to scrape off with a knife and deal with because I was ridiculously hysterical.

I’ve heard that people can get nasty bites from these little jumping spiders, but surely not this little chap who seemed quite innocuous.  There are apparently something like 400 types of jumping spider in the world, and Spain has about 75 different species, so even with a reasonably close-up lens I would find it difficult to identify whether or not he was a ‘biter’. You have to admit, he’s rather sweet and I even felt some tenderness as I sat there ‘communing’ with him!

Anyhow, I have to laugh because since I took some macro photos of him yesterday, he’s now vanished into thin air.  Happy hunting and thanks Steve Spider, I think you may have helped me make some inroads into conquering the spider demon.

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???????????????Living here these past years has certainly helped me with other creepie-crawlies like locusts and green crickets (which are both huge), scorpions, centipedes and even snakes.

No, snakes are no problem.  I’d go to any country, anywhere, any snakes, not a problem.”  Steve Irwin

Ladders snake 2 Feb 15 (2)I’ve never been that bothered about snakes either since my nephew Beau had a pet corn snake.  We came across a ladder snake yesterday sunning himself on the new road and Joe took this picture with his mobile phone as the snake got himself ready to strike.  We left him alone after that and he slithered off up the bank.  It was the first time I’ve ever heard a snake hissing.

 

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