Fall seems to have arrived early here in CT this year. I know this, because the ‘webs’ have arrived.
In the fall, the spiders like to build these massive webs that span from the lower tree branches to the ground – to other trees – to nearby towns… These things are big. They can span 10 feet easily. And they are everywhere, with these big brown spiders sitting contentedly in the middle. Waiting. There seems to be certain conditions that these spiders favor, making our side yard the mecca of spider inhabitation.
Yesterday evening –- me on the tractor cutting the grass with all this web activity was pretty high on the ‘neighbor entertainment scale’.
I shudder just writing about the feeling of driving through one of these things on the tractor. Often times you don’t see them at all. There I’ll be, driving along enjoying the scenery and suddenly my whole head is wrapped in sticky web-ness. The first thing that goes through my mind is where was/is the spider. This is when I start to flail about, peeling the stringy mess off my face, brushing wildly at my head and neck just in case the spider is there, all the while looking for remnants of the web. It is then that I remember that I am on a moving vehicle with whirling blades careening toward a tree or stonewall or sometimes the street. Sudden corrections in direction are often necessary to avoid an accident. My tractor also conveniently comes with a ‘kill-switch’, so that when I shift my weight on the seat (during the flailing) the engine starts to stutter and sputter. The flailing will go on for some time after the correction to the cutting pattern, as I still have the creepies thinking there are spiders on me. It eventually calms to a sort of nervous tick, until of course I hit another one. Sometimes I have to stop the tractor all together and compose myself.
From the neighbor’s point of view – sans the spider web explanation of course, all they see is a lunatic on a big orange tractor (We’ve got a big yard and a respectable tractor to cut it. It’s a Husqvarna, 15HP, 42” cut swath, hydrostatic transmission…with a cup holder).
There she goes again, that crazy lady next door, cruising along on her big orange machine, waving her arms wildly, twisting, writhing and cutting her lawn in crazed erratic patterns. That’s when the neighbor’s call out the family and get their lawn chairs.
“Hon! Lisa’s cutting the grass again – c’mon out and bring the kids.”
I have started to drive around holding my claw grabber tool (used to pick up the billions of dog toys without jumping on and off the tractor) in front of my face. This way, I usually notice the web as it wraps around my hand before it gets to my head. This is somewhat better. I suppose now I look like some crazy parade master on a big orange float.
I did miss a couple last night and got one full in the face. I need a better plan.