Monday, May 17, 2010

Creepy Crawlies

The females in my family are deathly afraid of spiders.

Naturally, we were repulsed and horrified yesterday as we listened to someone relate his story of setting up a campsite at Zion National Park last summer and being swarmed by hundreds(!) of the creeping, disgusting things. Not a couple, a few, or even dozens - he said 'hundreds'.

*(Note to family: If you ever hear me say anything along the lines of "Hey, we should go camping at Zion National Park," please realize that dementia has set in, because I will never, NEVER, utter those words again while I'm in my right mind).

Last night, we further discussed the awfulness of spiders and listed their horrific qualities. (I'm rating this "R" and discretion is advised!)
  • They're silent predators
  • They stalk and prowl at night
  • They bite
  • The way they move is just....wrong
  • They crunch when squished - again, just wrong
  • They have fangs
  • They make webs. Ew. Charlotte may have been cute and charming - but that was a cartoon. Normal spiders don't help pigs.
  • There are billions of them on this planet. Billions. And they keep reproducing.
I could write volumes about their disgusting qualities - but I need to think of something happy and cute or else I won't sleep tonight.

So - talking about spiders brought up a decade-long debate that we've had in our house. While I realize there are spiders everywhere - I don't think tarantulas are extremely abundant (am I in denial?).

The following is an actual conversation:

Todd: Tarantulas are everywhere - even in our backyard.
Me: No way. They like hot climates like Arizona and Mexico. There might be some in our mountains or in Southern Utah - but not in our neighborhood.
Darren: It's true - they are all over the place. We probably have hundreds of them in the field behind our house.

This debate has been going on for years! YEARS! Please help us put it to rest and feel free to be especially vocal if you agree with me. ;)


Cynthia said...

They are full of bull. We do NOT have tarantulas all over the place in these parts. I'm not all that bugged by spiders but GRASSHOPPERS? EEEEWWWW~!

Shari Nelson said...

Aunt Jodi! First let me say how happy I am to read your clever and funny post! Second I will agree that spiders are disgusting and wrong in every way! Third I think that tarantulas are in every place, but as to hundreds.... not unless it is a desert. Now that I am thinking about it I am starting to get itchy all over and I am sure that I will have nightmares too! Aaak!! Make it stop!

flagboy said...

"If there were no creepy crawly thngs there would be no humans"...Charles Darwin. Well, Charlie may have said that. I dunno.
"If humans coujld see germs without magnification no one would ever leave the house"... Botanist Arturo Burtono.
I have had a fantasy for yeeearrs. I find a mountain lion with a huge ugly thorn in its paw. Oops! that has been done to death.

For yeeearrs we had a monster spider in the shower. I shudder to think what he was eating all that time. Ken gave explicit orders to leave the critter alone. We all grew from that experience. I grew extra nerve endings along my spine. (I still have no contr-tra tro-troll. Yer maw grew even more adament about bathing instead of showering. Brian- though he won't admit it, grew very conversational and communicative with the beast, and to this very day he spends like 40 minutes in the shower, ostensibly to connect with any new hobo. (Spider). Don't try to get him to talk about it.

Redhoodoos said...

Cindy, I love you. I should blog about the time that Todd was bitten by a grasshopper while he was sleeping. Good times.

Shari - Yes, they are definitely wrong in every way! Let's think happy thoughts so we can sleep tonight! Miss you. :)

Redhoodoos said...

Gramps - Ha ha! I want you to know that I disagree vehemently with your humane treatment of spiders. Instead of killing them - you would take them back outside. Sick and wrong. I don't remember the shower spider. Probably repressed it from my memory.

Brian said...

I remember him. His name was Larry. None of you understood him.

Redhoodoos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Utah is loaded with Tarantulas. I have played with them when I lived in Ogden and then when you and I were married and lived on the East Bench in Layton. Even our neighbor caught a large spider and took it to the school to identify and found that is was a Tarantula. I believe that we have 1,000's of spiders in our back yard and we probably have an occasional Tarantula stroll through every now and then. Enjoy!


Karlie said...

Ha, ha, this post made me laugh and cringe with horror at the same time! I am definitely a non-spider lover myself. Shari and I often talk about the "crunching" sound when you smash them and how utterly disgusting it is. Sooo gross!!

Doran & Jody said...

Jodi, it's so nice to have you back blogging.

First of all I will NOT tell you that there ARE Tarantual's in our mountains. (But there are)

Next I will NOT tell you that I swear a spider ran across my arm about 2 this morning and I turned on the light to find it. It was either my imagination or it was hiding. Doran didn't even ask me what I was doing he asked..."A spider?"

I wonder how many we have eaten during sleep? Eww

Anonymous said...

Hum... just thought I'd leave my thoughts...

Found this online:

and this from south mountain:

"Saw this guy in front of my car. Thought it was a moose. Tarantula in City Creek Canyon, near Salt Lake City, Utah
September 16, 2004" from

and this:

and this:

oh, yeah... they do exist... thousands right in our very back yard!!!

Sleep tight ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh, and this as well:

Utah Tarantula - Aphonopelma iodius
Tarantulas are nocturnal sit and wait predators and stay close to their burrows. Some female tarantula in captivity have lived 30 years. Females in captivity are reported to mature at a minimum of seven years in this species - iodius (Chamberlin & Ivie 1939b) and continue to molt throughtout their lives. Females continue to use burrows after maturity but males leave them to find females during the breeding season.

Redhoodoos said...

Raymond - your citations never suggest there are thousands of tarantulas in our backyard. Rather, your links suggest there are only one or two in the valley. Show proof that there are thousands in our backyard. Your argument is an epic fail.

Redhoodoos said...

The 'epic fail' comment was from your charming brother, Connor.

Anonymous said...

Wow, we are related but as much
as I am terrified of the common
house spider, I LOVE Utah Tarantula's! I have studied, followed and spent time with 'em
on Topaz mnt (go in September to see them) and In the Delta desert.
They are fun to watch. If I run from a creepy crawler its the scorpion!

flagboy said...

My brother caught a triantula, (well, not the three-legged type) in about 1953. Everyone spent the day looking at it and talking about it. That night, in the middle of the night, his little 18 month daughter, Jacqui, woke up screaming "SMIDERS! SMIDERS!

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