Black Widow

When I opened the garage door last night I could see the black widow, silhouetted again the garage light, running up her web line.  When I shut the garage, did the door crush her?  Don’t know.  I will kill spiders in the house; outside they’re ok by me.

When my kids were little we had a black widow living in the door frame from the garage to the house.  We named her Charlotte and the kids were instructed to always note where she was before opening the door.  Then another black widow female (they’re the pretty black shiny spiders with the red hourglass who attempt to eat the tiny brown males after mating – this photo from the internet) settled in the door frame from the garage to the storage room.  We named her Webster.  Same rules.  Eventually they passed on and no children took their places (or the hubby did away with them just to spite me?)

Aargh!

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Former Alaska governor and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has bought a roughly 8,000-square-foot home in North Scottsdale, Ariz. for $1.695 million, according to sources familiar with the deal.
Put on the market in February for $1.75 million, the walled-and-gated house sits on 4.4 acres and has a home theater, a billiard room, a walk-in wine room and a “resort style backyard” with a gazebo and pool, according to the listing and listing photographs. The brown, stucco-and-stone house, which was renovated this year, has several fireplaces, a six-car garage and mountain views. The property has a circular driveway and desert landscaping.

Palin said that Alaska’s proximity to Russia gave her foreign policy experience.  By moving to Arizona she will know all about the illegal immigrant problem too!  And rumor is that she’ll run for Jon Kyl’s senate seat.  Or prez.

Peru

The friends with whom I went to Peru last year (see my blogs from last year, starting with
http://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2010/04/17/one-week-in-iquitos/) just returned from this year’s trip.  I asked about Rebecca, my monkey friend (see us in the photo), and Jim answered:

Rebecca, according to Ramon Cumpanam, was persistently called to by the leading male of a troop of passing capuchins. She was frightened but could not resist his persistent calls.  Since she missed the early years of learning capuchin social and ecological skills, I suspect that she going to have an extremely difficult time surviving; but since capuchins take at least 4 years to reach reproductive age, she has about 2 more years before assuming her adult social role in the troop. 

Then Jim told me about this year’s excursion:

We spent over a week in Iquitos overseeing the canoe and furniture construction, and purchasing supplies. And we spent the remainder of them overseeing the completion of Darvinia Lodge. We went searching for wildlife once, rather late in the morning, and did not see anything new. A fish that had never before seen was captured by Jonathan in his net. It had large sharp spines on the sides like those on some dinosaurs. As it was still alive, when they showed to me, I had them release it.

The renaco (wild fig) tree by the lodge was full of parrots and toucans this year, feeding on the ripening fruit. And while we were there working, a tapir swam by. I left my point and shoot with Juan, so he could take photos of the wildlife he sees thorough the year – in the high water to low water cycle.

The water was over a meter higher this year, which initially covered the deck below the main floor with 3 feet of water. I suspect that this effect, hypothetically attributed to the enlarged Ozone Hole, will persist; and I will need to shift the deck 1 meter higher next year.

The weather was exceptionally cool this year, and I went the entire time without using any insect repellent. For a couple of days I was swatting midges at the lodge. And Mary got mysteriously bitten in Iquitos several times, under her clothing.

None of the goose and duck eggs hatched; but I found store owner who managed to get me 6 embden geese from Lima. And next year, I will bring a down 4 dozen Khaki Campbell duck eggs to hatch under local ducks. This excellent British breed of duck is famous for laying more eggs than chickens, and incubating its own eggs.

Abencio was unsuccessful in figuring out how to make the spiral staircase start and end where the plans indicated, so he varied the steps in size and ended them on the wrong side of the room. But he was so intrigued by the design that he wants to attempt another one for his own house in Iquitos. Overall, the lodge and its location are thoroughly safe and charming. And the furniture, made from the finest muena wood is beautiful and expertly constructed. Next year, we will add a 100 watt solar panel, a water pump, a shower, and mattresses, bedding, and optional mosquito nets.

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4 Responses to “Black Widow”

  1. Jim Says:

    We had many blackwidows in our UA housing unit in Tucson. Since young children are sometimes killed by their bites, I did my best to erradicate them. The best I could do was to control their population, because they thrived on the large poplation of cockroaches.

    It was interesting to observe this friendship between primates belonging to such distantly related species develop. It started off with mutual distrust and fear, and evolved over a period of a couple of weeks into mutual trust and affection. I had made friends with Rebecca the previous year, but our relationship never became as intimate. The reason, I suspect is that the capuchins instinctively form matriarchial societies.

  2. Jim Says:

    Yes, that was in the university quonset hut. When we moved to California, there in San Luis Obispo, many blackwidows moved with us – in the furniture. And when we moved to Boston, they again moved with us. When we moved back to California, here in Livermore, they again came with us. Since I not seen any for many years, I suspect that I finally erradicated them here by introducing a blue belly lizard into the house.

  3. short spring poems Says:

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    Black Widow | Notes from the West

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