Life in the Real Desert: Living with Nature


Cartoon SpiderI know that the whole living with nature thing has sort of gone to my head. All the animals, lizards, insects and unidentifiable creatures which make up life in the real desert have gotten my attention. Sometimes these four, and more, legged denizens have increased my blood pressure and adrenaline levels.

Over the past three or four days there have been some visitors to my new abode that were less welcome than others. A three inch long scorpion who had a definite fascination with my right foot was one that startled me into my Michael Flatley impression a la River Dancing, or as they say in this country Clog Dancing. While I may have had trainers (sneakers) on my feet, I was still stamping away with frantic enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, I have no idea whether my trainer clad foot killed the desert denizen with the stinging tail or not. One last stomp and smear, you know what I mean the old down and drag movement, left only a rusty orange smear on the porch and when checked the sole of my trainer held no remnants of Mr. or Mrs. Scorpion. This means there may be a good-sized vicious creature out there hunting for a balding older chap with black trainers. I probably should warn my neighbors…all three of them.

Scorpion King action figure

There have been some fairly largish spiders as well, one was in the side room which was attacked with a spindly plastic flyswatter at first. This arachnid fell to the floor and quicker than The Flash, made off to a spot in the room behind my desk and disappeared. A few days later it appeared on the ceiling again and this time a flip-flop sent it to spider heaven.

Last night, while standing on the porch for a little night air, a monstrous eight-legged spider moved along the ceiling of the metal roofed porch (What is it with spiders and ceilings?) and then, as I stood transfixed, started moving slowly down the front door. As it reached face level, mine not his or hers, off came the leather flip-flop and bang!

Before feeling too much sympathy for this giant creature, bear in mind that, including legs, it was the size of my hand. Not a tarantula, not furry enough, but a similar size. Now here is the shivery part, once its body thudded to the porch floor, the flip-flop went back on my foot and I stomped the merry hell out of the apparently lifeless corpse. (Spiders can and do “play dead.”) Despite my approximate weight of 186 pounds, the body never “mushed” up.

I then took this very solid body and swept it into the dust pan and chucked it off the porch. Then, after allowing the goosebumps to subside, I went back into the house to find another, smaller, spider on the ceiling of the side room again. Scratch one more trespassing bit of nature.

I am not afraid of spiders. When working for Her Majesty’s Prison Service I noticed that these murderers, car thieves, drug dealers, rapists et al were all terrified of spiders. Being in the countryside large grass spiders used to come in all the time. While these tough guys screamed, cried and leapt on their single beds, we would pick the creatures up and toss them out the window. The sight of the lads practically passing out was worth it.

I do, however, have real issues with the larger arachnids sharing my bed or crawling over my face while in the Land of Nod. All of the other creatures I’ve encountered are cute and lovely to look at. They are also animals; ground squirrels, prairie dogs, jack rabbits with long brown tails who walk, or trot, like a dog and deer. I like coming across all of these.

As for that spider I count myself lucky that it did not make the floor. If we had been on even footing our altercation might have ended very differently and I could have been the one chucked off the porch.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

2 thoughts on “Life in the Real Desert: Living with Nature”

  1. Since you haven’t been by my site recently, you haven’t been following the adventures of Garry and the spider. Garry was bitten by a brown recluse. He has had a difficult couple of week and is still limping. Antibiotics, pain killers, etc. It’s a big deal.

    The huge hairy wolf spiders aren’t poisonous, but they can and will take a nice hunk out of you and probably kill you by sheer terror. I only met one up close and personal once, but that was once too many. In Israel, I met a LOT of scorpions. The big black ones are the least poisonous, but by far the ugliest. The small yellow ones are most deadly. The brown ones are in the middle. All of them essentially disappear when you stomp or otherwise crush them — all venom and carapace.

    They like the smell of food cooking, so they tend to show up at barbecues. Wear shoes. And socks. And long pants. Just a suggestion. One night at a barbecue on the beach, a whole battalion of yellow ones dropped by for a snack. You wouldn’t believe how quickly a group of people can scatter.

    Buy spider spray. Kill them on sight. Don’t mess around. You don’t want to get bitten.

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    1. Ouch. The crooked bugger I worked for got bitten by a brown recluse, almost killed him apparently. He used to freak out at the sight of a cricket! The big bugger on my porch, and the two smaller ones in the house were hairless and huge. After almost breaking my nose on the side of the house, I’ve stopped wearing my flip flops every where! Sorry I’m not visiting anyone very much at the moment. Switching servers from WordPress in order to start trying to get some advertisers, i.e. adsense et al, Internet issues and looking for writing jobs that pay. Sadly the one site I’ve been writing for has not paid me one penny. Not to surprised as my articles have ranged from around 32 views to 1000. My application to what looked to be a content mill (The Inquisitr) went nowhere as I mentioned in an earlier blog post. I’m still scrambling and trying to get to other people’s sites…sigh…I hope Garry is getting better! I had an aunt who did almost die from a brown recluse bite. She was a kid and rolled over one repeatedly in bed, hence my paranoia about spiders being in the house! *shudder* LOL

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