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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!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


While we may not have many campers (3 as I am writing this), we do have our share of mosquitoes and WOLF SPIDERS!!! You all know how I am about spiders of any kind but in particular WOLF SPIDERS!!! From a previous story, you also know I was bitten by one a long time ago.

I am the reason the word “arachnophobia” was formulated. I don’t become embarrassed that I gather up my petticoats and scream like a little girl when confronted with a spider that is larger than a penny. What IS embarrassing is that anyone within a 500’ radius is scared out of their drawers when I let out with a specter type yell. I do feel badly about that.

Such is the case the other morning. I was innocently walking down the hallway, past the spare bedroom and I noticed this thing on the ceiling. It was between the size of a quarter and a half dollar (don’t ask me why I choose to measure spiders as loose change). Yep, the dreaded wolf spider. You would have been proud of me; I DID not scream but grew a fantastic crop of goose bumps, did the obligatory, stationary panic in place dance and cussed like a sailor. The only reason I DID NOT scream was due to Dan being in the shower and I didn’t want him to think there was something SERIOUSLY wrong.

It was a Mexican stand off between the wolf and myself but I gathered my wits, and my petticoat and went off in search of battle gear.

When I returned, he was still in the same spot. I had given up my petticoat and donned a skin-diving suit, minus the flippers but with the goggles, a pith helmet on my head and over that my mosquito net. On my lower half over the skin diving suit I had a leather blacksmith’s apron, on my feet I had swampers and on my hands (and up to my elbows) I had veterinary gloves (you know the kind with the elastic at the elbow). In one hand I had a can of Raid Earth Options Flying Insect Killer (I didn’t have any killer for ginormous spiders). I sprayed the Raid towards the spider. He obligingly curled up and fell off the ceiling (this is the reason I put on the swampers). However, he was no where to be found. Well at least no where to be found that I was going to look. I sure as heck was not getting down on the floor on all fours to see if I could find him. I thought for sure he fell on the bed, but I couldn’t find him there either. So, I was left with a room that smelled of cloves and a “spray spot” on the ceiling.

After Dan was dressed, he tried to find the spider too and he DID try in earnest. But no luck.

And I am also not fond of amphibians. I am by no means a “toad whisperer”. I do try to avoid running over them with the mower and I don’t mind that they play around in the plants by the bird bath (on the ground bird bath). I just am not a toad toucher and I don’t have a fervor for frogs.

But the other day I had to put those feelings aside.

Someone had been in the lobby to drop off brochures for their business and informed me I had a big, fat toad on the deck. We both agreed he wasn’t hurting anything and was probably eating his fair share of insects (hopefully wolf spiders).

Well, I got to thinking about this toad and remembered one time some one decided to stomp on a poor unarmed toad that was on our sidewalk (which really ticked Dan and I off…there was NO reason for anyone to do that). So out of concern for the wellbeing of this toad I thought I better move him some place safer. I hoped I could just “chase him” down the ramp of the deck.

I went out on the deck and couldn’t find him, so GOOD! He’d managed to get off the deck by himself! I came back in the house and almost stepped on this HUGE toad! While I was going OUT, he came in and I didn’t even see him! I could have been the one to squash him flat! Without meaning too!

“Well, this is just great! I’ve got a toad IN my dining room, now in the kitchen and I do NOT want to touch this spongy, fleshy thing!” I don’t believe in the wart thing and I wish I believed in the “kiss a toad and he will turn into a handsome prince and grant you 3 wishes” (or am I combining a couple of fairy tales??). I just do NOT like the texture of a toad!

He had finally hopped himself into a corner. I put on my latex dish washing gloves (didn’t figure I’d need the vet gloves for this), grabbed a kitchen towel and managed to gently take him into custody. I carried the tricky toad to the ramp and put him on the ground beside it…and I haven’t seen him since.

Boy you can tell it is a slow season when I am writing about toads and spiders! But, in closing, here is something you can try;


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