As a kid I used to be deathly afraid of spiders. I'd find them suspended above my bed, just over my pillow. Daddy-Long-Legs with their long, thready legs, gave me chills and nightmares.
My brother, Michael, and I would go on a spider hunt, flashlight in hand. Evenings were the best time. Black Widow Spiders dotted the concrete wall along the sidewalk by our house. Michael captured them, dumping them into a glass jar. Thinking back on our spider escapades, I'm surprised that Michael came away--ALIVE.
Today, I live in a subtropical climate. Everything thrives here. Bugs are super-sized--and that includes spiders. Hanging dead center from a huge web draped across the Royal Palm tree out front was a Trap Door Spider. It was the Biggest, the Blackest and Scariest spider I'd seen yet. Right out of a Stephen King novel!
Fangs, fur...orbs as big as marbles. I stood there, transfixed, fear settling in my spine. My childhood chills had come back. Grabbing a broom, I broke the web. 'Trappie' dropped down, dangling... I flung it out to the street. I haven't seen one since.
Wolf Spiders are just as fearsome. Recently, one was sitting on the edge of the pool. Big as a golf ball, and very hairy. I pool-netted him, and sent him flying into the woods.