Tuesday, Jul 29th

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Arachnophobia ... not really

The month of October is perhaps my favorite time of year, and not just for Halloween, one of my favorite holidays and the beginning of the countdown to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For sports lovers, there’s baseball, football, basketball and hockey to name just a few, and for the amateur photographer in all of us, there are subjects galore, what with the leaves changing colors and the crisp, cold mornings complete with rime-covered lawns.

Indian summers come to a close, and the world prepares to bundle up for the winter, but before the cold weather sets in, there always seems to be one more period of warm days and warm nights.

That’s when arachnophobia kicks in, when spiders bigger than any seen during the summer months appear in trees, shrubs and roof lines.

They emerge to trap one more meal before laying their eggs, and brother are some of them big, really big as well as colorful.

Anyone walking through the yard to get the morning paper or cutting grass is subject to wandering through face-high sticky webs strung between trees or bushes, followed by the panicky swatting of anything moving.

It’s as if spiders know Halloween is upon us, and they just want to help decorate yards and houses for the holiday.

A spider’s silky web weight-for-weight is stronger than steel but not as strong as Kevlar.

It, however, is tougher than both, as I can attest after a month’s worth of sticky messes, but it can be fascinating watching them spin their webs, as I did on at least one occasion this year.

I saw green and yellow garden spiders as well as their red, brown and rust-colored cousins do their thing this year, and I cheered when one constructed a web near the entrance of a yellow jacket nest in the cinderblock walls of my well house. 

Chalk one up for the home team, and see ya’ll again next spring.