Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Snakes on a plane, spiders in the house?

Nope, I haven't seen the movie "Snakes on a Plane." I just wanted to get your attention, and the subject matter is actually tangentially related to the topic of this post. The ads for the movie are quite enough for me, thank you very much.

Not that I'm especially afraid of snakes. I'm not. But neither am I a good candidate for "Fear Factor." I've never liked horror movies, either, ever since I was allowed as a five-year-old child to attend one, taken to a Saturday matinee by my eight-year-old brother. Too much information, far too soon, for this imaginative youngster.

And those uniformed matrons who patrolled the theater aisles with whips (remember them, folks of my tiresome boomer generation?) didn't help, either, although the thirty-five cent admission was a great attraction. And, by the way, my brother always got Good and Plenty (yuk and double yuk) whereas I was a Nonpareil gal.

But I digress.

It's spiders I'm interested in, because this is spider season in my home. Living in the semi-country within a small city, near a wooded area with deer and wildlife and all that good stuff, I tend to forget how much of that wildlife intrudes on the house in the summer. Despite the obligatory screens, spiders and insects (see; I'm aware that spiders are not insects; I looked it up) find their way inside quite readily, to make themselves at home.

I am happy to say I'm not one of those people afflicted with arachnophobia. I can even kill one if need be, without flinching or carrying on (no chickenhawk, I). I believe that any spider who comes into my house uninvited (and they are all uninvited) is fair game.

Today I noticed that, almost overnight, my house had turned into a maternity ward for spiders, particularly the ground floor--I guess they don't do stairs. Little hanging egg casings had burst to reveal small dark particulate mounds of--something or other.

And here's where the mystery deepens, and I must humbly ask, once again, for the help of my wonderful readers. I'm stumped, because those small dark mounds don't look all that spiderlike. In fact, they look somewhat like ants. And they look dead. But that's not the way ants reproduce, is it? Nor, according to this, is it the right time of year for little ant babies to be hatching. And why would they be hatching dead?

At any rate, they're gone now, swept away by that great broom which no doubt features prominently in their nightmares--or in the horror movies ants and spiders would make, if they only could.

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