Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Where the Outside Meets the Inside

Oklahoma brown tarantula scaling the house.
We try hard to defend the boundaries set by the walls of the house; to me it’s very clear where the outside belongs and where my indoor sanctuary begins.  Yet the four- six- and eight-legged creatures pass through freely with neither respect nor awareness of our barriers.  They find their way in despite the screens, storm sashes and doors.  We’ve scooped up or chased out hummingbirds, wrens (they love to build their nests in boots), slate-colored skinks, mice, snakes, frogs, scorpions of all sizes, grasshoppers and crickets, of course, wasps and sleek salamanders decorated with electric blue stripes.  Pill bugs appear inside in droves when it rains.  There is no end to the spiders that move easily in and out, especially beige-toned wolf spiders.  All spiders seem to adore the dusty corners at the bottom of doors and once we found a fat Black Widow snug in her cottony web in a spot our feet brush past countless times every day.  Don’t get me started on the Brown Recluse spiders that apparently think the house was constructed as their personal hunting ground and shelter.  I’ve never seen one outdoors.

A Western Pygmy Rattlesnake coiled up in the drain
pipe by the side door.
Tiny spiders, crab-like and one shade lighter than their host's leaves make the journey indoors aboard the bunch of basil I’ve just cut.  Leafhoppers, ants and small beetles catch rides on hat brims for a crow’s nest vantage point.  Every once in a while a tick will come in either attached to us or on a piece of laundry that’s been hung on the line.

This is one advantage of winter.  The creatures go where they should – either to warmer climes, to their maker or into some safe, dark place to wait out the cold.  Quite a few of them will make our home their safe, dark place, but at least I can’t see them.  Even the Brown Recluses have the decency to disappear and call a halt to their nightly patrol of the baseboards.  


  1. oh my...I will never complain about the bugs in my house again. lol. I love this story.

  2. OMG... I cannot stand them all!!! I would live in a state of panick, lol...
    Fortunately I live in an apartment, and only have tiny-tiny black ants...!

  3. My goodness me! Not sure I'd enjoy a visit to your place, Annie! Cannot stand snakes, having been chased by a cobra when I was a little girl of about 4 while living in India - wanted to pick up the snakeskin to make a bag for my doll: only the snake was still in it and rather objected! Fortunately snake was killed by a passer-by and I'm still alive to tell the tale. But I've never liked the species since!

  4. Wasnt a good idea to read this before bed.


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