Last night I went for a walk with the spiffy headlamp that Mom and Dad gave me for Christmas last year. I left for my walk later in the evening than I really intend, so it was definitely going to be dark by the time I got about halfway through. And I was wearing black yoga pants and a grey lightweight, long-sleeve shirt to keep the bugs off, making me nearly impossible to see. For that reason, I wore the glowing red light that straps around my arm on a bright green band and the headlamp that has the LEDs up front and the glowing red light on the back. Plus my hand weights have a stripe of reflective material on the straps and my shoes have the same reflective qualities, so I was DEFINITELY visible as I was walking in the dark in my dark clothes. People would have seen floating lights and reflective spots wandering all over sidewalk. I think it would be kind of hard to ignore.
I learned something new, though. Did you know that spider eyes are extremely reflective in LED light? SERIOUSLY. It’s so creepy.
I was walking along on the sidewalk that runs on both sides of the major road that runs north-south outside of the housing development where we live. It’s a nice, broad sidewalk that’s usually a decent distance from the road and curves around a little bit, sometimes ducking into the wooded areas alongside the road, sometimes running straight beside the road. It’s wide enough to drive a small car down it, so it’s a nice area to be walking.
I’d been out for a while, enjoying myself. I saw a couple fireflies and a rabbit and a couple frogs. No one else was out walking and it wasn’t as oppressively hot and muggy as it has been around here and I was having a good time. I was on my way back home when the sidewalk dipped down and into a wooded area. I saw this sparkly thing just off the side of the pavement and I thought, “Oh! Someone must have dropped an earring. It’s super sparkly; I bet it’s cubic zirconium.” And I went to go look. And I got maybe about a foot and a half away from it before I realized that NO, it’s not an earring. It’s a spider. It’s a furry brown spider that’s about an inch and a half around to the tips of all it’s fuzzy, disgusting, creepy legs.
So I jumped back onto the sidewalk and started to move back along my way, albeit more swiftly than before, and definitely spooked. And then my headlamp hit the other side of the sidewalk and suddenly I could see that there were at least two dozen very sparkly things showing up in the grass on the other side of the sidewalk in about a five-foot area.
That’s when I started running toward home. And trying very hard not to let the light from my headlamp get anywhere near the grass along the side of the path. I ran a goodly amount of the distance back to my housing development – all the spots that were wooded, in fact. Because GOOD GOSH there were spiders everywhere. And their eyes glittered in the dark like daggers and I was mildly terrified.
I stopped running when I got to the sidewalk into my housing development, which runs along a grassy area with a trees every couple feet. And I realized that there were spiders in every third tree or so. Big ones.
So then I walked in the middle of the road until I got away from the trees. When I got back on the sidewalk, I thought I’d be okay, but NO. There was another glimmering spider sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. And yes, I checked; it wasn’t just my imagination. It almost blended in with the sidewalk until it jumped toward my feet a little bit.
When I got to the road where we live, where there isn’t a sidewalk, I discovered that the whole street is paved in a material that has a lot of sparkly bits imbedded in it. This was actually a bit of a relief because I could just ignore all the sparkles and stop trying to walk around them as widely as possible.
While typing this up, I’ve looked under my desk three times to check for spiders and I’ve had goose-bumps up my legs the whole time. I keep trying to be better about this fear of spiders and I think I am making improvements, but things like this still get to me. They’re creepy, disgusting creatures. And I really wish they weren’t so reflective.