Ireland is basically the opposite of Australia. Australia got all the bitey, poisony, vicious things (with the except of possums, where there was apparently a mix up, and North America got Australia’s order and Australia got North America’s order), and Ireland got none of them. Basically, if Ireland is a little bit of heaven as evidenced by its creatures, Australia would be a little bit of hell (please note I don’t stand behind that statement as I have yet to visit Australia, so I can’t judge it, and I’m fairly sure that the southern United States has hell covered as far as weather is concerned). Legend says that Saint Patrick chased all the poisonous things away when he came to the island. He probably sent them to Australia, and both countries had a normal number of evil things prior to that. ANYway, with people moving around the world, Ireland’s pristine poison-free, snake-free, spider-free, creepy-crawlies-free world has been polluted. For a few short weeks in the fall (ok, for about six), spiders suddenly appear out of nowhere. And once upon a time, they were little tiny things. Now, they’ve slowly evolved to grow bigger and bigger, and they’re huge. Fortunately, still non-poisonous.
I didn’t know about that when I first moved here. I had simply been told “hey, there’s no spiders.”
And they were right–until the wonderful fall. Fortunately, Jo warned me ahead of time, so I was prepared. But now all the little spiders are appearing, and Newbie is going crazy, because apparently she doesn’t like spiders. We originally had a catch-or-smash policy (catch and release if possible/convenient, smash if not), until we were informed that the spiders are non-indigenous, there are far too many, and the official line of pest control is “smash”. We now smash exclusively. Newbie screams and demanded we leave all the windows closed, which will not happen. Anne uses her window to smoke (it’s huge and opens into a courtyard, which only we have access to, via the window), and I use my window to keep my room from getting too damp. Neither of us will be sealing them for the season.
Beside, they’re strangely cute. Even Cait–who has a legitimate fear of spiders–thinks they’re cute, as long as they remain cool and far away from her bed or shower. She even nicknamed the one that lives in the hall leading to our apartment, but I don’t remember what she called it.
We might not have pets, but we did nickname a spider. Close enough.