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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I don’t like spiders and snakes, although I DID see Jim Stafford “in concert” a couple of times. (And if you don’t know what one has to do with the other, email and I’ll explain!)

Yesterday, while mowing, I was trying to avoid hitting what I thought was a toad. I’m not particularly fond of frogs (unless they are fried) or toads but I don’t like turning them into liquid with the mower. Every time I’d come back to the area where this darn toad had been, he’d be “one mower lane” over so I’d have to avoid him again. About the 4th time around, I thought he was gone so I didn’t give it another thought…till I came back around again, and there was his little squashed body. I felt really bad about it…UNTIL I REALIZED WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A TOAD WAS A SPIDER!!! O M G! That thing had been HUGE alive! He was really HUGE squashed! I knew without more ado what kind it was…a wolf spider. We have them all over up here. There is an extensive variety of wolf spiders but the ones we have here are usually gray, BIG, fuzzy and just darn revolting and intimidating. Don’t tell ME that they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them! Anything that looks that ugly bothers me and I haven’t bothered it first!

I have seen one even bigger than this one. I found one out in the driveway. I KNEW Dan would not believe me when I told him just how big this spider was unless I was able to show it to him….and I didn’t know when he’d be home. So, I got a LONG, handled shovel. The plan was to “scoop” up this spider, put it in a coffee can and put the lid on the can. I got to the very opposite end of the shovel, as far away as I could get from the business end of the shovel. I managed to get the spider onto the shovel end, but when he started quickly coming up the handle, I dropped it, screamed and ran! Those things can JUMP AND RUN! He fell off the handle when I dropped it. After I had stopped shuddering, my first inclination was to smash that sucker flat…after all, Dan would still get a good idea how large he was even if he was squashed. I decided to try to just sit the can over the spider and pray that while I was trying to do that, he wouldn’t decide to jump at me. I really don’t know what I would have done if I’d have ended up with that spider on me. I truly shake to think about it. I managed to get the coffee can over the spider, which is now sitting in the middle of our entrance driveway. I half expected that spider to start crawling under the can and taking the can with it, but it didn’t. About an hour later, Dan got home and the first thing he sees is the blue coffee can sitting in the middle of the driveway. I explained to him why it was sitting there. He walked up and every so carefully removed the can. That spider and already started to burrow a hole INTO THE DRIVEWAY (which is gravel and is hard!). Dan was pretty startled to see that large thing actually rear back on its legs. HE took the opportunity to stomp him flat. (Please no letters or emails from PETA or arachnid fans.)

When we lived downstate, I WAS bitten by a wolf spider during my sleep. It didn’t even wake me up, but when I got dressed the next morning, I felt a burning sensation on my neck. When I put my head down something “popped” and I felt something wet running down my neck. I had a HUGE, red circle on my neck with a piece of my skin covering it…like a popped blister. And that IS what happened; apparently, this bite had blistered and when I put my head d own it popped it and the liquid inside came out. I had NO idea what this was (because I hadn’t found the spider yet) but it BURNED as if someone was holding a flame to my neck. Long story short, when I made the bed, I found the dead spider in the bed. For about 2 weeks, I walked around with what looked like a huge hickey on my neck and the burning sensation lasted just as long.

I was VERY fortunate another time…I could have easily been bitten by a brown recluse when we were camping in Louisiana. I was picking up campfire wood and there was a brown recluse sitting on top of the wood I had in my hands. I DID have gloves on but even that wouldn’t necessarily have helped me. Some how I managed NOT to panic and sat the wood right back down where I found it. Dan killed the spider, but I KNEW there were more of them…especially in OUR campsite. And I KNEW that night the short distance between our tent and the campground restrooms was just crawling with brown recluse spiders….it was a VERY long night.

So NO, I do NOT like spiders. It makes me shiver just to type the word. Posted by Picasa

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