wouldn't believe the size of the spiders we saw on the Eastern Shore
and the Outer Banks this August. It left me wondering if
there was a direct relationship between the record mosquito population this summer and the size and health of the coastal arachnid population.
I thought about this again the other day as I watched Eight-Legged Freaks
on HBO (David Arquette's best outing yet–though that might not be
saying much). The movie was a great way to waste 99 minutes of your life; I particularly enjoyed the trapdoor spiders in the movie, and the “Gremlins”-like sound effects used to represent the scampering spiders as they overran town.
The movie reminded me of the giant orb spider (about 8
inches from leg tip to leg tip-sse the second photo at right) I saw in the brush when we stopped on
the eastern shore of Virginia l–it looked like it could eat small birds that flew into
I wondered: is this what global warming has in store for us? Wetter
springs, more mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus (or malaria, or
whatever), and bigger and bigger arachnids that will one day start
snatching family pets and dragging them into their sticky lairs?
Will I have to face down a thirty-foot mutant tarantula in my lifetime?
Probably not. But it's fun to think about, in some perverse, geeky, sci-fi schlock way.