Thursday, June 24, 2010

Check Out This Garden Visitor...

...absolutely beautiful, but a little unsettling too.  Look at this gorgeous tarantula that visited me in the garden this week.  It was early morning, very cloudy, humid and overcast when he appeared.  He was probably looking for breakfast.

I know they are out here in the hills because I've seen them before around the house.  We even had one *in* the house a few years ago.  But last week was the first time I've seen this large native spider in my garden.  Despite their menacing looks, they are not poisonous.  Their bite is somewhat on par with a bee sting.  And they have to be really agitated or threatened to bite a human. 

It was really cool having him in my garden and I just watched him for awhile.  Eventually, he wandered out of the garden and into the thick brush that surrounds it.

He was a pretty good size too...maybe 4-5 inches long.  They are very beneficial as they eat crickets, mealworms, caterpillars and other insects that wreak havoc on my garden.  Actually, I was pretty happy to see him out there.  But from now on, I will pay closer attention when I reach for something or step somewhere.  Look...he blends right in with the cedar bark mulch on the ground around my garden beds! You can hardly see him!

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