It has been so humid here as of late. Yes, I know that you on the east coast and south would see this as dry as a bone, but having lived in humid climates this is ranking pretty up there. This is LA. LA is not supposed to be humid. But, on my walk tonight I actually saw haze around the street lamps. I also saw a huge spider hanging above the sidewalk in a giant web. Word for the wise. If you live in Los Angeles and want to take walks after dark, walk on the street. If you have a palm tree lined street, you should be okay, but if any branches overhang the sidewalk you can count on walking into a web with a big fat spider right in the middle of it.
Tonight, the one that I saw was extra big. Sent chills up my arms kind of big. He/she sat there in the middle of his giant web that stretched from a street sign, over the sidewalk and into a tree, daring me to walk under it.
SHELOB: Go ahead, walk under. I'm holding on reeeeeal tight. I promise.
ME: Oh hell no.
For the next block, anything that felt like a web sent me into a spider dance. If you don't know what that is, the next time someone says to you, "Don't freak out, but you've got a big spider on your shirt." The said dance you do is the spider dance. Everyone's is unique. I have the most terrifying spider story from my childhood days. Horror movie cliche kind of story. I'll tell it sometime. Still, when I think about it my skin crawls and I wrap my arms around my rib cage.
The kind of spiders we get are orb spiders, and they can get pretty big. Cathy was way out in the valley on location with Jericho, and said she had to cue this big battle scene in a thicket right next to a tarantula's nest. Yeah, we get those too. Luckily not very many sightings in populated areas. Cathy had to be in the thicket because she had to be camouflaged (pun very intended) from the camera. She knew that's what it was because one of the crew had pointed out others to her during the day.
These spiders are most of what you'll find in Los Angeles. The one that I'm talking about that build the big webs, including the mutant that I saw tonight are most likely common orb weavers.
The bravest of my friends has to be Malcolm, who was the stand-in for Jeff Daniels in Arachnophobia. The scene at the end where that giant spider crawls up "Jeff's" leg, is actually my friend Malcolm. That scene was extra pay, of course. Apparently Jeff had some last minute jitters of having a Goliath bird-eating tarantula crawl on him (10-12 inch leg span) and Malcolm came to the rescue. Sorry, you couldn't have paid me enough.
On that pleasant note, if you're reading this before bed...sweet dreams.