I like to think I saved him from a fate worse than death by trapping him in this candle lid and bringing him into the house.
I also like to think that's a good omen for my life because this little dude is the most interesting-looking spider I've seen to date, and not squashing them is supposed to be good luck.
I asked one of my friends (who loves spiders more than I do, and he of the great bird eating spider ownership) what kind of spider this is because I'd never seen one quite like it. I thought at first it might be a bold jumper, but it didn't jump.
This was lucky since I thought it would be a good idea to bring Shelob into the house where he could easily have escaped, and then I'd be sharing my house with a monstrosity the size of a quarter.
My friend suggested at first that he was a wolf spider, but I didn't think so. Wolf spiders are ugly. And they carry their babies on their back. And they are just all around icky. And they bite. This little guy was so pretty, and had two little green dots on his face that I thought at first were eyes, but may actually have just been the mouth parts or premature fangs.
Bold jumpers do have those beautiful green or blue fangs.
I told my friend he was sporting some jewelry and my friend said maybe he's a drag queen.
The little guy also didn't seem at all aggressive, and I loved watching him move. He walked very deliberately, setting each front paw down one at a time as he scuttled forward. I tried to video him but he kept escaping from his lid.
My friend and I deduced that he was actually a she.
My friend must have done some research because he then came back with "Jumping spider" and a picture that looked a lot like my new little friend. That's pretty much what I thought too, except she really didn't seem all that interested in jumping. And given her size she could probably jump pretty far.
Like up my nose.
Or in my hair.
Instead she just crawled gracefully around the lid, looking almost like Scooter when he scoots along the bottom of the tank. I decided maybe Winifred was just too fat and lazy. My friend said she's just chill.
Winifred did manage to escape in the kitchen, and she started booking it across the counter in pursuit of the espresso machine. That's where I found my last jumper, Fred, a few years ago. Just chilling next to the espresso machine.
What is it with jumpers and coffee? Did she need coffee to get the springs going in her legs?
I managed to catch her again, though it took some doing. She kept flipping over on her back because she was a bit top heavy. I'm always afraid I'll squish the jumpers when I try to trap them because they are so quick. And even though Winifred didn't jump, she scuttled pretty fast. As pretty as she was I didn't really want her in my house, mostly because she'd probably end up as someone's cat snack.
I decided the front garden was the best place for Winifred. There is lots of shelter, lots of plants, and lots of bugs to eat. Better than sitting stranded on the back deck because once the wind and rain picked up, my deck was absolutely pummeled. Poor Winifred would have washed away in a flood.
Also, the way Tess was prancing around on the deck, I was afraid she would tromp right on top of Winifred and turn her into a puddle.
Tess did come inside before the storm, by the way.
I don't leave my pets outside to drown (though I've been tempted with Percy).
Not a moment too soon. Winifred crawled under a rock and the storm hit, spraying my deck with more water than Wyoming has seen in a year, and washing out my flowers. I had to stash the plants somewhere safe.
And if the plants couldn't handle that monsoon, there's no way Winifred could.
I realize Fred was several years ago and is probably no longer with us, but in my fantasy land Winifred meets Fred and they make a little spider life together.
I just hope female jumpers don't eat their mates.
If you look hard enough, that is spider silk coming out of her butt.
This video shows a spider pretty similar. That's how they walk! They're so cute!