October 1, 2010
If you have been following this blog you will know that I now garden in two very different hardiness zones. My home hardiness zone is Canadian Hardiness Zone 6A but our vacation home is in US Hardiness Zone 9B. I am learning so much about gardening in a warmer climate! We were out doing a little yard work and discovered this huge and I do mean huge spider. We have large funnel spiders as home but that did not prepare me for this huge spider! It had to be about 4 times the size of a large funnel spider. To get an idea of the size of this spider each siding strip from straight edge on the bottom to cove edge on the top is 4 - inches. The spider stretched out would span most of that 4 - inches! Needless to say we have a healthy new respect for gardening gloves!
I should mention that I was as far as we can tell bit by something shortly after arriving. My hand swelled horribly with a very tender lump then it turned just about every shade of purple you could imagine with my knuckles a bright red. It took a good week for the swelling to start going down. After three weeks the bruising is almost gone but the tender lump remains. As long as I'm seeing signs of healing I'm not concerned but in hindsight I likely should have had it checked because if bit again by the same critter the reaction will likely be a lot worse. As a result I have been doing a fair amount of research in what to be on the look-out for in US Zone 9B. There definitely are a couple of venomous snakes, brown recluse spiders and fire ants to watch out for.