I'm not a big spider fan.
Uh, let me rephrase that: I not a big fan of spiders. When it comes to BIG SPIDERS, I'm especially not a fan.
I won't go so far as to say the only good spider is a dead spider…but I will say that any spider I catch trespassing in my house is a soon-to-be-dead spider, providing my aim with the swatter is true. Outside is another matter. I'll concede spiders have their place—so long as we're agreed their place is not scuttling across my living room floor. I can be fair and reasonable, willing to live and let live, if a certain decorum is maintained.
However, my cottage is my castle, and I rule this modest kingdom with one categorical imperative—spiders are forbidden within its walls. Any spider caught therein will be considered an intruder, and punishment for ignoring this boundary shall prove swift and deadly.
Just to show my seriousness on the matter, I keep a swatter handy in every room.
As an informational aside, Myladylove employs a vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment as her preferred arachnid termination device. While I like this "suck 'em to the big fly feast in the sky" approach in principal, in practice I find it too clunky for instant decisive reaction.
True, it does offer a more remote working distance for inflicting death—especially appealing when armed with a short-handled swatter and facing a soon-to-be-deceased eight-legged nightmare of a size which makes me gulp and pause. More than once during these thoughtful pauses, as I'm trying to drag my courage back by the shirt collar, I remember how—given my adrenaline-fueled heart rhythm after a similar stalk-and-slay mission involving such a gargantuan foe—I really meant to check into investing in a home defibrillator unit. So in these cases, the extra margin of an additional foot or two might make a difference.
Yet I know I'd personally miss the lack of a squashed post-execution carcass which provides that necessary and satisfying proof of a successful fatality. There's also the moment of celebratory glee when your now-vanquished invader does a few turns around the porcelain bowl before a watery trip into the abyss. For me, there's nothing like a good slain-spider flush to restore a calmative balance to my universe.
Therefore, I'll stick with the swatter and employ it only within the confines of my cottage walls. Spiders outside need not fear. And seeing as how we're being perfectly honest here…certain spiders are, even to my arachnophobic mindset, rather cute. Especially when they're smaller than the eraser on the end of a pencil. Even I can't work up a case of unreasonable terror over a creature so tiny.
Of course they're still not too diminutive to set my spider-radar to pinging. Which is how I discovered the itsy-bitsy spider in the photo above. I was prowling about the yard yesterday. My radar pinged. I looked around, and saw the elfin creature—what I think is one of the metaphid jumping spiders, approximately 1/8-inch long—staring back at me from a secure pocket at the base of a pokeweed leaf. I eased over for a good close-up shot, and couldn't help grinning all the while because that old blues song by Sonny Terry or maybe Howlin' Wolf, "Got My Eyes On You," suddenly began playing in my mind. The perfect musical backdrop for the occasion.
You just have to love any creature which invokes such a moment…even if it does happen to be a spider!