Saturday, September 13, 2008

Critter Invasion

I've just had to remove a multilegged creature from my hallway which went ballistic when I caught him inside a pint glass. I could barely contain him as I went out onto my patio to carefully hurl him over the hedge and onto the grass beyond. The experience actually made me shudder as I imagined him escaping and running up my arm.
It seems I'm gradually being overcome with critters lately and I can't say that I'm too happy about it despite my ethics of never hurting a living creature. Is it because Halloween is approaching that I'm being subjected to countless insect squatters in my home or is it merely due to a season change? I strongly suspect the former.
A few days ago, I had a very large spider decide that my patio was the perfect place to make a home. I watched him spin a humungous web; he labored for a couple of hours while I observed from a safe distance.

The photo above shows him about halfway through. He's up near the top and he's got his packed lunch secured in the middle of the web ready for when he needs a break. Something he prepared earlier, probably. I've actually got quite used to him and in the past week, the poor little guy has had to rebuild 4 times so far, because of weather conditions, but I made a point of checking on him every day.
A couple of days ago, I went out to monitor Spidey's activities and found that I had another lodger perched on the railing, a praying mantis. These guys are super intelligent and I've had experiences with them in the past so I was a little cautious. He became aware of me immediately and followed my every move with his black eyes.

If you double click on these photos to enlarge, you can see his menacing expression. I was making a phonecall to a friend with the camera in the other hand so the quality isn't excellent, but it's quite clear to see he wasn't happy with my company.

I took some photos down on his level and he actually got quite defensive. I think on second thoughts that this must've been a female since they're the aggressive ones that bite off their lover's heads. She was definitely giving me the evil eye and started advancing on me and my camera. Then suddenly without warning, she attacked! She flew directly at me, causing me to yelp and run indoors, and then explain the situation to my friend still on the phone. I didn't go out on the patio for the rest of that evening but every time I looked through the blinds, her head swivelled in my direction. A complete surrender on my part. The photo below shows her in her pre-pounce position.

Looks like I won't be using the patio for a while...

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