Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"Think Smaller, More Legs"

Yesterday while I was out watering my plants I nearly thrust my head into the lily stalks and into this:

A joro gumo (harlot spider) or Nephilia Clavata. Here's her belly and teeth.

She's beautiful. Friggin' huge! Today she caught a moth and was chomping it for breakfast when I left the house. I showed my husband and his reaction was:

"Huh, a Joro spider."

I'm thinking "joro"? A slightly different pronunciation and very different characters translate as "watering can". I thought what a tame name for such a creature. But I was told later that "joro" does indeed mean "harlot". Learn something new everyday.

She's the newest but not the only spider we have now. There is Bruce, a tiny fly-catching fellow who lives in my bathroom window. He's been there for about two months now. There are strict rules in my house, Don't Kill Bruce. Even guests get the lecture. Unfortunately, his choice of real estate was quite poor so in order to keep him alive J and I go out with tweezers and occasionally snap up ants and drop them in his fairly tattered web. He must think he's pretty nifty though. No home repairs, doesn't have to work too much and here god is dropping juicy ants into his mouth. I really should cut him off.

I have a dilemma. Not about Bruce but about the Harlot (I must name her). She's out there working her black and yellow butt off but little does she know that we have this coming our way the day after tomorrow. A typhoon.

So I'm sitting here debating. Should I scoope her up and keep her safe for a few days until the weather passes or just let her be and hope for the best.

I mean, I'm not a huge spider fan. Right now the two arguments I'm leaning on are: she looks pretty resilient, and my lord she's huge!

Edit: Bruce's real estate wasn't so bad afterall.


Pat said...

Does the fact that it's a harlot spider necessarily mean that it's a female? Kelly and I have a big spider like your harlot, but ours is called a banana spider. We've named it Aragog, so I guess we're assuming it's a he.

Hope you weather the typhoon ok!

Jamie said...

I like spiders. Not on me, mind you, but on their webs, doing their spider errands -- very nice.

I vote you jar her and save her.

Good luck! And stay safe. From typhoons and spider bites.

Kappa no He said...

Pat: My reasoning for assuming it's a she is because some students told me the males were all very small and usually hung out around the web waiting for their chance to mate...and be devoured. Mmmm spiders!

You win for spider names! I'm off to google what a banana spider looks like.

Typhoon was a doozy, hit us straight on and lasted all day and night. But alas, other than a few overturned flower pots and a stop sign sitting in my driveway no serious damage.

Jamie: Me too and me too! If that puppy had been inside we'd have had some issues. I kept an eye on her and even went as far as to go out with a flashlight at two am (I couldn't sleep anyway, the noise). And lo and behold she is still out there -- albeit a little tilted as her lily stalks took a beating. But looking very cheerful in today's fine weather. I wonder if spiders get dizzy because she really went for a ride.

Anonymous said...

One of momo's friends woke up to a clatter on the bed table and saw one of those uchi kumos (giant house spiders) taking on one of the giant roaches. She said she couldn't sleep in that bed for a week. I was very impressed with those. They show no fear of humans. I had a standoff one morning when one was on the floor between me and the fridge. She would turn to watch me, but she wasn't going to let me get my milk for my coffee.
So how was it being right in the middle of a typhoon? The closest I got was about 50 miles from the eyewall of one that went through Shizuoka ken about 20 years ago, but I've never been closer than that. That one flattened all the rice paddies and filled up the Tenryu River right to the tops of the levees, which are set back about half a kilometer from the river channel on both sides. Very impressive. My momo-in-law said that after the power went out in Fujieda, the constant howl of the wind and the battering rain on the storm shutters got so boring that she ended up sleeping through most of it. I hope you didn't lose anything. I just finished watching the SBS TV news report of the damage around the central prefecture. They weren't able to travel to the more heavily damaged areas because the trains and roads were shut down. I saw where the westbound lanes of the Tomei expressway near the ocean near Yui was washed away, and there are reports of tracks washed out all through there. Wash your hands and boil your water! You don't need to be part of any dysentery outbreak.

Virginia Lee said...

Ah, we are having a hurricane bounce off the Outerbanks of North Carolina as I type this.

Perhaps there is a greater purpose for the spider who is tossed by a typhoon's winds. A spider is so light it might not be damaged as it soars with the winds of a storm.

I had a kitchen window spider in Mississippi I was fond of for quite a long time. Any other spider got smushed, but my kitchen spider kept critters from coming under the screen. Even the kitties knew to leave her alone.

Frank Baron said...

Glad to hear that both you and the Harlot weathered the storm. I was definitely going to vote "leave it out there!" since I'm not a huge fan of those critters. Though Bruce sounds nice enough. :)

Kappa no He said...

Sorry, I haven't been on here in a few days.

Imomo: I know EXACTLY what spiders you are talking about. Those fellows can make you wet your pants in a heartbeat. Spiders should NOT have hair. And they shouldn't be able to turn their little heads to watch you. Oh, and they shouldn't jump, nay FLY! at you when you spray them with bug spray. *shiver*

Survived typhoon. It was a slow moving one so we had plenty of time to watch stop signs roll by and listen to our neighbor's roof break apart. J was happy because all sorts of balls and stuff blew into our yard. He's got a little pile.

Virginia: I used to live in South Carolina and Mississippi too! I like the idea of a greater purpose. I'm going to have to remind myself that more often.

Frank: Yea, as soon as I actually considered capturing the girl my heart would freeze up. I wished her luck and ducked back inside the house. Bruce's web got a little shabby there for awhile so I just wiped it up. He came back full force and built a much nicer one that he seems very proud of...

Craig and Lotta said...

I do not kill the spiders but I have not gone as far as FEEDING them. Oh, how I enjoy this blog.

Kappa no He said...

I think I've created a mini monster. You should see Bruce's face when anyone walks into the toilet. It seems to say, "Tsup!? What's for lunch?" He doesn't even hide anymore. The punchline here will be when he grows so big that he turns into one of those enormous things imomo was talking about. Lord, no.

MDK said...

compassion in action!

I'm glad to here both your human family and your arachnid family made it through the typhoon okay.

Jim Melvin said...

Spiders are like snakes: so cool, so sensual, yet sometimes deadly. Black widows are the rage in South Carolina. At certain times of year, they will leap out beneath rocks and attack. Still, I'll rarely kill a spider.

Kappa no He said...

Did you say LEAP!?

Kappa no He said...

MDK: Thank you! I've been catching up on taped "Lost" episodes (since school has started back) and I was thinking about you.

MDK said...

speaking of lost:

Just wait till I show you my tattoo. It may remind one of Lost, but it really isn't the reason I had it done. This was a long time coming.
take care,

Kappa no He said...

MDK: Yes, a post on your tattoo. I'm sufficiently curious!