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Eight Legs No Shoes

October 7, 2018


Wow! I (almost) ran over this fabulous tarantula a few days ago while running my usual 90-minute evening loop in the hills east of my hometown of Orange, CA where wildfire (well, not so wild: human ignited) scorched the hills almost exactly a year ago during days of flames that seemed almost as long as this sentence . . .

Anyway, local critters have been in short supply since then–not much rain last winter = not much vegetation to bring back the insects and all who feed on them (arachnids and on and on around the food web).

Can you blame me for squeaking in delight when I trotted around a bend . . .


. . . on this windy uphill and discovered:


This beauty–probably a male out mate-hunting (that’s what tarantulas do around here, this time of year); he seemed not at all concerned about my attempts to foot-selfie us together:

tarantula on foot

. . . unlike this darkling beetle, who looks absolutely puny in comparison . . .


. . . and who had no interest in spending quality time with my toes. Then I heard a crepuscular crashing in the crispy vegetation:


Altogether a critter-wonderful evening! Happy twilight trails!

And when you get home, a couple of tarantula-riffic videos by yours truly, this one from three days ago:

. . . and this one from eight years ago:

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