dVerse — haibun — Surprise!

mini greenhouse

As each morning brings the ritual of opening all of the blinds, windows, and sliders, so does the dusk bring their closing. At times, the ritual is disrupted when heavy storms blow rain in; depending on the wind’s direction doors and windows are closed accordingly, to keep out pooling water.

One such afternoon, when the wind blew heavy spray in from the south, I went into the “mini-greenhouse” area to pull the outer slider shut. As there is a leak in the corner of the 6-foot by 8-foot area, a bucket has been placed under the leak to catch the drip. Monitoring the bucket to empty as needed, it was about half-full, so I decided to empty it.

Stepping over to the bucket, my hand reached for the handle. It was then that I saw a large spider perched on the inside of the bucket, down near the water, almost like it was fishing. Keeping composure and hoping the spider didn’t spook and jump out and run towards the inner house, a thought crossed my mind to push it in then quick dump the bucket outside, but again, not wanting to spook the critter, I backed up and let it be.

Arachnid surprise
in autumn’s thunderstorm —
blue bucket drips full.

I went to a website for Michigan spiders to try to identify it. Not being an arachnologist (?) this is the closest picture of what I saw.

Notes from here: The spider species Eratigena atrica, commonly known as Giant House Spider, belongs to the genus Eratigena, in the family Agelenidae.

  • Can be mistaken for the “hobo spider” (Eratigena agrestis) or the “barn funnel weaver” (Tegenaria domestica), but are actually quite different when seen by an experienced eye.
  • Leg span can be very large; some of the largest ones reach about 4 inches.
  • Often found in bathtubs or showers first thing in the morning (or in the middle of the night) as it seeks out sources of water and may become stuck: able to get in, but not able to climb out.
  • With speeds clocked at 1.73 ft/sec (1.17 mph), this spider held the Guinness Book of World Records for top spider speed until 1987 when it was displaced by “windscorpions” (solpugids).
  • Species is often found living indoors, where it out-competes and displaces the “hobo spider,” helping to keep them from becoming established indoors. Male “giant house spiders” have even been witnessed killing male “hobo spiders” without necessarily eating them.

Featured spider picture

Eratigena Atrica

Kim is today’s host of dVerse. Kim says:
For this week’s Haibun Monday, write about an encounter with an insect: it can be a beautiful or a scary experience, one that enlightened or surprised you; it can be about an ordinary or an unusual insect. Aim to write no more than three tight paragraphs about your encounter with an insect, followed by a traditional haiku that includes reference to the season.

Is a spider an insect or its own species???  I hope it qualifies!

32 Comments Add yours

  1. I can really feel the shock of a spider that large. I sometimes find house-spiders (a smaller kind) indoors, but I’ve grown used to them and find them close to charming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I don’t mind web-based spiders because they don’t move. These giant roaming spiders scare the bejeezus out of me. I can see you have been “charmed” just as I was to leave it be.

      Like

  2. Wow, that must have been a shock! I don’t mind spiders, but when they get really big, they are disconcerting.

    I think technically they aren’t insects, but arachnids, but who’s counting?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It was, Sarah. My hand reaching for the handle then seeing it…

      Like

      1. Worse if it scuttled, though…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. kim881 says:

    That was a surprise, Jade, and this is a well-detailed and engaging anecdote. I love the opening sentence and the way you set the scene. I’m glad you let it be. Most spiders are harmless, and they keep other insects and bugs at bay, especially flies. Thank you for the background information – I’m interested in spiders, but no expert!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you enjoyed the haibun, Kim.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    Insects bug me, and spiders push my fear button; not real fond of snakes and rodents either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Most bugs terrified me as a child. It didn’t help that my older cousin told me things like “sewing bugs” (they look like mini-dragonflies) would sew my eyes shut. If any bug landed on me I screamed bloody murder lol. Having one chomping and clicking in your ear must have been unnerving!

      Like

  5. memadtwo says:

    I generally like spiders, but large ones give me the same scare. I think you dealt with it in a very level headed way. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. After my encounter with a Black Widow earlier this year, I scream when I see a spider. Kudos to you for keeping calm. Fabulous haibun Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Oh my gosh, Linda, a black widow???? Where was it? I’m always afraid when pulling shoes out of the closet I haven’t worn in awhile and stomp them good before putting them on. I’m afraid of the black widows and the brown recluse.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was in my most peaceful place- my garden. I about had heart failure! I screamed but was home alone so I had to deal with it. Needless to say, I won. But lord, there were 9 egg sacs around her!!! 😳

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Oh dear. Glad you saw her before she saw you.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. kanzensakura says:

    Spiders. Give me the creeps. Big time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rob Kistner says:

    In my house that spider would have been dead Lisa. Outside is fine with me — but not inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      If the spider was in a trapped place and couldn’t get out maybe take a chance at capture or killing but those things can jump and I didn’t want it jumping on me. I pray it is still out in that area and didn’t migrate into the house.

      Like

  9. Sadje says:

    It’s a big one.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved that you let it be. I’m surrounded by neighbors who’d doom that spider. Not me. Live and let live. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Sascha. It was a matter of fear more than anything. I just hope it stays out there!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Isn’t that spooky Lisa? I would have screamed 😳 It’s scary stuff tonight! I’m definitely having nightmares tonight reading about everyone’s creepy crawlies!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      lol. I’m not sure if Glenn’s ear chomper or Sarah’s caterpillar eaten from the inside out is worse. I hear you on the nightmares!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jules says:

    It is hard to ID spiders. Some small ones can have irritating bites. My Mom got a spider bit from a small spider and her ankle swelled up. I try to leave natural outside. Walking into webs though can give one an icky feeling too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Spiders are fine to do their own thing as long as they do it away from me. Did your Mom have any ongoing issues with the bite? I’ve heard some can cause problems for a lifetime 😦 I saw my cat eat a large moth that somehow got into the house today, so I hope she’ll munch any spiders she sees also.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jules says:

        Not sure about ongoing. Where she’s at now in a retirement home I think they keep the bugs at bay 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  13. lynn__ says:

    Did the rain stop? Is the bucket full? Arachnaphobia is real!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It’s still raining 😦 The bucket is full but I’m afraid to empty it now!

      Like

  14. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar says:

    You are FAR kind than I am…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Margaret, I want you to imagine I tried to hit the spider and it ends up jumping on me or running up my clothes. My inaction had nothing to do with kindness — it was paralyzing fear!

      Like

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