This is topic Here be spiders. in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
I was out of the house at 5:30 a.m. this morning to try out the timing of a new walk I'm considering doing several times a week. I'll be teaching an early-morning class at a home 2.7 miles away, and I thought that walking to and from class would be a good way to get in my exercise.

But if anything's going to be a deal breaker on this early morning walk, it's the spiders! My neighborhood centers around a tree-lined parkway. It's pretty heavily wooded, and that early in the morning there are tons of huge webs, some of which go smack across the sidewalk (I have no idea what they are attached to; the ground, I guess). I managed to only have encounters with single strands, which is icky enough; if I walk face into one (or more) of those huge webs I might just have a heart attack. But I managed to see them just before walking into them. Eww, Eww, Ewww. I've seen the spiders that make those webs; they are big and I do NOT want one on me and especially not on my face, which is the level they all seem to be hanging at!! Maybe I'll just get two sticks and do the idiot walk, waving those in front of me as I go.

Any early morning joggers/walkers have this same problem? Any survivor stories? I think I need to hear that I can walk through a big web with my face, get a spider on me, and live through the whole ordeal without major trauma. My brain tells me that the prey those spiders are after is not me, but there's such a huge squick factor to overcome.
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
When I was about five, my mother tells me, we went with a friend of hers to a old house the friend was thinking of buying. While playing with my brother, and running through the big empty house with no furniture in it, I ran into a spider web and a spider got on my face and bit me.

It was not terribly poisonous, as I had only a red mark that went away in a day or so she says, but I have been horrified by spiders ever since.

So there you have it - I survived but not without lifetime trauma and fear of spiders. [Smile]
Posted by MightyCow (Member # 9253) on :
Obviously you need to find some crazy Japanese headwear-product to protect you. I'm sure they make a hat with a spider-eating bird attached to a long pole or something along those lines.

You could also give the spider something more delicious than your face to chomp on, should one land on you :
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
Umm . . . thanks, Belle. That helped. [Wink]
Posted by aspectre (Member # 2222) on :
Whatcha need to do is get a couple of pirate swords with eyepatches. Then do the whole distance as a dual-sword fencing exercise. The eyepatch makes sure that even if the spiders get past your guard, at least you'll still have one good eye.

It'd be better if you used a lightsaber and a stormtrooper helmet, but people would think you're mad.
Everybody knows that stormtroopers can't use lightsabers.

Of course if you don't mind knowing that folks think you're mad, you could use a walking stick or hiking poles to brush aside cobwebs when needed, with sports glasses just in case you miss seeing one.

[ August 06, 2007, 12:51 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]
Posted by aspectre (Member # 2222) on :
BTW: I actually do recommend the last option.
A walking stick or a pair of hiking poles does make long walks easier; a LOT easier if you are carrying books/etc in a backpack.

One should always select high-quality impact-resistant sunglasses over the stuff you see selling at tourist shops, drugstores, etc. A good pair will allow you to see better than naked eye.
Inexpensive sunglasses not only impede vision but can cause your eyes to work harder trying to focus through lens distortion and scratches, give you a headache. They should only be bought&used in emergencies when "At least something is better than nothing."
A good pair of sunglasses is expensive but well worth the extra price: you'll wear them more often. They'll be comfortable enough that you'll forget that you have them on. And vision-enhancing enough that you'll feel weird being out in sunlight without them.

Problem is there are also a LOT of really EXPENSIVE low low low-quality sunglasses selling in sunglass and optical shops pushing brand cache.
Posted by MEC (Member # 2968) on :
I really hate inch worms.
Posted by aspectre (Member # 2222) on :
BTW again: Didn't notice before but those Panoptics I linked to are at the high end pricewise of good sunglasses. Guess the IraqWar has pushed demand up enough to bump up the price.
Anything noticibly more expensive for non-prescription, and you're probably paying for a bad pair of sunglasses-with-a-fancy-name.

The bottom price for good sunglasses even with discount selling is ~$90. Anything noticibly lower and even that manufacturer-with-a-good*reputation is selling a cheap product-line catering to the brandname-fashion crowd.

* Such as Vuarnet or Serengeti. There are other companies with good reputations, but I haven't real-world experience of long-term use their products. Vuarnets can be bought custom-fitted with prescription lenses. Don't know which of the other companies give their customers that option.

[ August 06, 2007, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]
Posted by Kwea (Member # 2199) on :
I can get a good pair of distortion-free polarized sunglasses fro FAR less than $90. Designer names are over-rated.
Posted by MEC (Member # 2968) on :
I love my $15 sunglasses.
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
I wear the geeky kind that you put on top of regular glasses. But they've been missing for the past 2-3 weeks; guess it's time for me to go to Wal-Mart again.

But I doubt that even the expensive sunglasses will make me feel better if I walk into one of those webs.
Posted by vonk (Member # 9027) on :
Do you know what kind of spiders? It helps me to know that some of the really big ones, like Banana Spiders, while scary, aren't poisonous.
Posted by Liz B (Member # 8238) on :
When we went to Brookgreen Gardens in SC we tried to walk on one of the nature paths, but there were enormous spiderwebs spread across them with HUGE spiders. My husband has a phobia...I don't really, not of the small ones, but we BOTH turned around and skedaddled. It's still a shuddery kind of memory.

So no help here. [Smile]
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
vonk, I don't know what kind they are. I suspect they are just fine, because there are plenty of walkers and joggers up and down that road and I've never heard of any problems. I just wish they'd get up earlier and knock down the webs before I get there!

*makes mental note to avoid nature paths in Brookgreen Gardens*
Posted by Jenny Gardener (Member # 903) on :
Probably harmless orb weavers - they're getting big and fat off the insects this time of year. Enjoy them, they're fascinating. And they'll be gone with the early frosts.
Posted by Earendil18 (Member # 3180) on :
Originally posted by Jenny Gardener:
Probably harmless orb weavers - they're getting big and fat off the insects this time of year. Enjoy them, they're fascinating. And they'll be gone with the early frosts.

Are they the kind of yellow puke patterned guys with a big abdomen? Legs like to stay curled instead of splayed?
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
From what I read on the wikipedia article about them, there are tons of different types, all different colors. The fact that they're harmless is reassuring, though--thanks, Jenny.
Posted by Qaz (Member # 10298) on :
If you hold a stick in front of you you don't have to wave it.

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