Things I Learned as a Field Biologist #22
When in the field, spiders will always, in one way or another, find a way to have an impact on your morning. There are many ways in which they will exert this unexpected influence, some of which are more jarring than others:
1) Every morning, you will check your boots for them. Do it. Check your boots. Because the one morning you don’t, you may jam your foot blindly in only to find that you’ve inelegantly squashed a rather large Phoneutria. Which you’ll later learn is venomous enough to kill a small child.
2) If you’re the first person out on the trails (or the tallest), just give up now: you will hit several unseen spider webs full in the face. With or without spiders attached.
3) When you’re walking oh-so-cautiously across that half-rotted log bridge only to have it crumble away beneath your feet. After burbling out a confounded blerg and bracing against the shock of cold stream water, you may jump up, more awake now, laughing a little at the spectacle you’ve made of yourself.
Laughing, that is, until you see the 10+ iridescent blue orb weaving spiders with impossibly sharp looking legs doing a distressed and yet somehow terrifying dance in their communal web, into the middle of which you have inadvertently popped your most unwelcome and evidently provoking face.
4) When you’re just making your way to breakfast in the morning, still fuzzy from sleep, only to feel an intense itching begin on your leg. You may scratch at it a little, and maybe wonder if some overzealous moquito got at you in the night. Until you feel something move - something inside your pants - that is quite a bit larger than it should be (because you are My #1 Favorite Lesbian Field Assistant and do not have anything in your pants that can do that. Much less that far down your leg. Just, you know… context).
You’ll quickly rip off your pants, right there on the trail, only to find that the rather large tarantula you warily eyed in your corner before bed had, overnight, made quite a comfortable home of out of the inside of your pant leg.
So if you ever do find yourself in the field, be ready to make spiders a part of your day. Every day. Most days as soon as you wake up.
And don’t worry.
You haven’t been bitten.