The other day, I sent Tyler to take care of the spider webs on the patio because we were having preschool at our house the next day. He yelled that I should come check out this spider. We couldn't see the underside, and the backside gave no hints. I was curious as to what kind, so I captured it in a jelly jar, and put in some Kleenexes soaked in fingernail polish remover to kill it.
While it was dying, I searched the internet to find out what kind it was. On it's back were some red dots arranged longitudinally, and I couldn't find a picture of one like that.
Finally, it died, and fell over. Then I saw this:
and I knew exactly what it was.
You may be wondering about my spider-capturing-and-killing skills. When I was a freshman in high school, I took Honors Biology, in which we had to assemble a bug collection with 50 different kind of bugs from some number of different orders, and we had to identify them down to the genus. I think it was to teach us about binomial nomenclature, or something, but I could have learned that from a book. What it did do was make me feel like there were bugs crawling on me at all times. I had nightmares that every bug I killed had mutated and come back to life and came after me, wielding the little black pin that I had stabbed it with to mount it to my posterboard. I would lay in bed and slap my legs because I was sure there were millipedes crawling on them.
For that project, I spent untold hours chasing moths, butterflies, and bees at my younger brother's baseball games, digging in the dirt in my backyard, and hoping I didn't catch malaria as I sat around a pond in Carbon Canyon hoping to catch a dragonfly.
And, I'll just say that this project would have been So Much Easier had we lived in Arizona. Black widow spider? Check. A bazillion crickets? Check. Very large beetle that seems like it belongs in Ancient Egypt and not by my front door? Check.