Wednesday, October 24, 2007


While we were viewing the Judd aluminum box installation, one of the guys on the tour pointed out this substantial spider keeping cool in the shadow of one of the boxes. The tour guide explained that it was tarantula season in Texas and that they were "on the move". That explained why the highway to Marfa was covered in crawling things I couldn't quite identify from the speeding car. We had another run-in with a tarantula while driving to New Mexico.

We pulled off to the side of Highway 17 to take in the scene when Melody spotted another tarantula hanging out on the shoulder. I walked over and snapped a picture. Soon after the spider begins to amble out onto the highway. There isn't a lot of traffic, but about every 30 seconds a car or truck goes flying by. We began to fear that our arachnid friend would get smashed right in front of our eyes. The spider took about five minutes to cross the highway. During that time there were about ten absurdly close calls where the spider nearly got smashed.

But he made it.


Susan B. Anthony said...

You got me interested in tarantula migration which I didn’t know existed. This is what I found in National Wildlife magazine: “Tarantulas spend most of their lives underground. To find mates, adult males in Texas periodically venture as far as a mile, probably guided by smell. The males will continually search for mates until they run out of energy or until a female eats them. Exactly when male brown tarantulas go a-roaming seems determined by the weather. Their movements tend to occur after a rain in early morning or late afternoon. Mass sightings are rare but memorable.” So see how lucky you were.

Nat Hansen said...

A ha, that explains it. Thanks for the additional info!