Saturday, October 02, 2010


Tonight when I was driving home, and nearly here, I saw a raccoon lumbering across the street. It was the sort of walk that you instantly recognize, like being able to pick your spouse out of a crowd for reasons you just can't put your finger on - except for familiarity.

Last night I was driving home, and was nearly here, when I saw something that caught my eye. It turned out to be a skunk. There was something about it that made me look because cats just don't move that way.

So with those critters out of the way, I wanted to tell you about the spiders that I saw in Tahoe. The first one was odd. I just looked down on my bike after having ridden about three miles and saw it scurrying down a cable. I was off or got off (don't remember exactly now) and took a twig to knock it to the ground. I lost it at that point but I never intended to kill it - so I hope I didn't.

Riding a bit further, I looked up ahead to see a tarantula the size of my husband's hand on the side of the trail. It was that same sense of familiarity in seeing that thing with the way its legs curl just so. I kept riding towards it just staring in disbelief. As I got closer, it ran at me full speed. Actually, it turned out to be a rock, but I swear I thought it was a tarantula!

The last spider was just floating through the air. It makes me think of Charlotte's Web and how Charlotte's little babies just float away to find a new home. It was wiggling about on that thread like it was trying to swim up from the deep end of the pool. It made me wonder about the first one. Initially, I had thought I brought the spider with me from Spiderland here. After seeing the other one floating by, though, it made more sense that it just landed on my bike.

The last time I was up at Tahoe at this time of year, I was out golfing and saw hundreds of ballooning spiders. It was unbelievable. It must be the season.

My final critter story doesn't have anything to do with a bear. My husband saw a bear when he was up there earlier in the week, but I didn't see one. No, I saw a small red squirrel chasing a big grey squirrel. It was the oddest thing. It was something that really strikes you as odd as you're watching it and can't believe you're watching it. Like when the birds were dive-bombing my cat when she came with me to walk my dog.

Thems critters for you!


hokgardner said...

I'm reading this listening to critters chew apart the underside of my bedroom. I like critters on the wild, not destroying my foundation.

Anonymous said...

My neighbor had the same problem. It turned out to be rats. They set some rat traps (i.e. mousetraps but more heavy duty) baited them with peanut butter and they caught 5 of the little parasites within a few days. Problem solved. You don't want them chewing into wood or especially wiring which could lead to a fire.

ckh said...

I have a no-kill policy in the wild, but if they enter my house uninvited, well, that's another story.

Rats can be smarter than you think. If the snap traps don't work, try glue traps. I have not yet gone past buying the glue traps because I don't want to deal with the live catch, but if I find evidence they've come back, then I'll have to go to the next level.

Anonymous said...

You're right after a few of them bite the dust the others will probably avoid the traps. My only reservation about a glue trap is they might be able to gnaw off a leg and get away. Then you've got old peg leg running around still causing damage. I guess as a last resort (meaning: not very reliable)if you've got a cat you could make it earn its keep.