Saturday, April 23, 2016

Walking Dread - Country Life and Zombie Spiders

While visiting a friends farm in Northern Indiana one fall, someone brought over these round green balls that appeared to be some kind of pod or alien fruit. "What the heck are those?". I asked. Apparently they were the fruit off of the Osage Orange tree, otherwise known as Hedge Apples. My friends  said they repel spiders. You put them in a bowl or on a piece of foil and place them around the house. They won't spoil or mold and eventually just shrink to the side of a walnut. I should have brought more of them home.

For I am afraid of spiders. I can watch "Walking Dead" and sleep like a baby, but spot a big hairy spider in the house and I'm tip toeing around with a rolled up newspaper for days.

Snakes, bats in my hair (been there, done that), no problem. When you're out in the wild, sometimes hiking, sometimes working, you run into it all, bears, wolves, coyotes, horny toads, horny tourists, bugs, ants that bite and those little plastic containered, cellophane-covered sandwiches they carbon date for freshness and sell at gas stations.

I lived in the desert after grad school, and woke once to find a tarantula in my bed. My roommate, raised there, heard my shout and got a dust pan and gently picked it up, talking to it softly, and took it back to the yard to be released. "They do more good than harm" she said. I slept on the couch for the next month.
When I too lived out in the country a few years ago, spiders were a constant, short of running them over with your giant Chevy Subdivision, they were pretty indestructible.  The little ones, I left alone, as they do eat bugs and such around the property, letting them be or gently removing them from house to garden. But those large hairy fast moving spiders scared me to no end.  One night I opened the door to let the dog in and in rushes a grasshopper, into the house as fast as he could go.  What the. . ??  He was being chased, by a large spider.  I got the door closed before a spidey security breach, got the grasshopper picked up in a jar, and put him out the back door at the opposite end of the house..  Next time I opened the front door, the spider was waiting, rushing at the door again. . .

 "I Am Sparta!"  SLAM.

 We used the back door for a couple of weeks.

I can handle a lot of things, be it heights, or horror movies. But not giant spiders.

So there I was, staying with some friends who live out in the country, up at 3:30 in the morning to use the bathroom (note to self no Guinness after 8 pm) and as I'm taking care of business, a wolf spider about the size of a Buick runs across the floor towards me. Barefoot, I threw a hand towel on it and proceeded with my rendition of the Grapes of Wrath stomp.

Stomp Stomp Stomp. Die Spider Die!

No movement from under the towel. He didn't escape, the floor around it was clear. I left it there for the morning.

At 5 am, I got up (wearing slippers just in case) and look at the towel, prepared to just shake it outside and then throw it in the wash. But what caught my eye was the large dead spider, legs curled up, a few inches away. He'd managed to crawl out and expire next to the tub, rolled up like a crescent roll. OK. At least he was dead. I went to get a paper towel to dispose of the remains.

This is where the fun started

I came back and Mr. Spider was completely reanimated, and pissed off, on TOP of the towel, ready to pounce on my foot like a Chihuahua on a pork chop.

He'd been dead. I'd been sure of it. I'm kind of trained in those things. Now he's back.

I had the only zombie spider in all of the Midwest.

Fortunately, I was highly trained in zombie spider removal and wearing nothing but tactical bunny slippers, dispatched him with a roll of paper towels.

Zombie Spider Rule # 2
The Double Tap


  1. Hari OM
    I'm a catch and release kinda gal, it has to be said... been the one 'rescuing' mates with issues like these - mainly cuz neither did they have the oomph to dispatch of spidey. May have been the lack of the tactical bunny slippers? YAM xx

  2. LB, we have the solution to all your spider problems...

    Guineas! Little grey bug and pest assassins! Our two chicks made short work of a giant wolf spider.

  3. I learned to especially hate spiders when I lived in Korea. Trust me, don't ask.
    I hadn't heard about using the "Horse Apples" (that's what they call them here -- on the blog, we call Osage Orange Trees "Tennis Ball Trees" for obvious reasons) to repel spiders! There is a tree not far from us; I should try it! I have heard lavender deters them.

  4. Mom can't even look at pictures of spiders and she gets the uggies
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  5. Hedge Apples? Are they about the size of a tennis ball? We see them by a tree in this one place and wondered what they were?

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    1. Yes, and they do tend to keep the spiders out of the house. I just put a couple in a basket under furniture where Abby can't get at them.

  6. OMD!!! OMD!!!! OMD!!!!!!!!!!! Ma is freakin' out overs heres!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, and ROTFLMAO too... This is SO what Ma would do, and has. There are A LOT of critters Ma will pick up and put back outside where they belong..spidey is NOT one of them! She can shriek like a schoolgurl if she sees a big one! This is a true story, she was in the kitchen late one night and she saw a BIG spider on the ceiling. Gpa was asleep in the front room, and not wanting to wake him screaming, she got the closest item to spray on it...hairspray! (no, she doesn't keep her hairspray in the kitchen, it was on the table to be put away..☺) she sprayed half the can on that sucker. Thinking if it's not dead and stuck to the ceiling, it will be up in spidey heaven soon, she will dispose of it in the morning. Morning comes...Spidey is still there. she gets a chair and is ready to smoosh it and it MOVES!!!! WHAT??! it reanimated, and was PISSED! Ma, screeching like a tornado siren, finally got a cookbook and smooshed it!!!! I, of course, was barking my approval at the nasty intruder. Ma, deciding whether to wipe the spidy guts off the cookbook and save it, or just throw the thing away, decided the later would be less traumatizing.
    Moral of the story....hairspray does NOT kill big spidey's. The End.
    Ruby ♥

  7. I will look for this fruits or I will buy a tree... naah two... or 26. I'm far away to be spirder girl :l)

  8. I can handle regular spiders and bugs (last week at work I had to kill 2 bug that were in the office and freaking out the other staff members). I do think tarantula would put me over the edge though!

  9. BOL!!! OMD, that sounds so skeery, a zombie spider! We weren't laughing at your descriptions at ALL, nope not one bit!


Welcome to The Book of Barkley and the Blogville dog blogging community. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on Abby the Senior rescue Lab, who we adopted in 2014.

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