The Visitor (spider alert)

Yesterday I was home alone with a list of chores to do. During the tropical cyclone we had brought in the balcony furniture. The design of the house means that we have little option but to leave it all in the living room until the storms abate. It looks odd but you really don’t want heavy wooden furniture being blown against a plate-glass door. By afternoon the wind had dropped and the sun was spluttering back to life. A half-hearted effort perhaps but it was there nonetheless. So I flung wide the gates. And lo and behold something landed on my shoulder. It descended from on high and my first instinct was probably a gecko. I casually flicked it away and looked down to see that Gordon had landed safely. But Gordon it was not. Not unless he had transmorphed himself overnight into………….

Heteropodidae sp

Super-spider! About the size of a saucer if you include the super-model legs (although not many super-models would wear socks like that, I venture to assert). Saucer? Make that a side plate. We gazed not so lovingly at one another. He tried to run back inside. Mindful as always of Mrs. Ha’s likely reaction I cut off the retreat. Stalemate. He stopped. I shuffled slowly backwards and found a camera. He posed. I clicked. Friends again. We parted on good terms. If you want to know more about the Huntsman spider then wiki is there for you. Note that it is not especially dangerous to healthy humans. I probably don’t fit into that category but never mind. Huntsman was a fearsome looking beast but then so is Sean Lau and people seem to like him.

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 09.12.21

His bio does not mention that he lives around the corner from us and occasionally walks past our house, gazing with interest at it. One of the contractors working here became so excited he embarrassed us by rushing out and asking for Sean’s autograph. He is a delightful man but often plays the tough guy.

And there we must leave the spider. Of course it bucketed down during the night so my decision to put the furniture back out was maybe premature. What is it like this morning? Well a bit like this.


A gauze of drizzle still masks the vista and speckles the camera lens. I cloned out as many as I could see.

As a post script, you may recall the splendid Panama hats I bought in Lisbon recently. Well I wore one into Hong Kong last week. My cardiologist told me I was dressed for boating or Phuket (pronounced Poo-ket) but not for HK. Some people lack style and panache. I suspect he felt a pang of envy that he didn’t have a titfer like mine. I shall wear the other one on Tuesday just to rub it in. And maybe if he wants to try it on I will let him……. with a Huntsman tucked inside as special treat. Happy Sunday.

(For the non-English speakers amongst you a titfer is a hat. Tit for tat – hat.)


35 thoughts on “The Visitor (spider alert)

  1. I suspect you are greatly exaggerating the poor huntsman’s size, AH ! – and yes, entirely harmless. Not to say that my entire family didn’t scream loudly for Daddy when one emerged blinking into the light … Only the gods know how many we must’ve had him dispatch over all those years – they were prolific in Perth. When Stringer was building our house on Dangar Island we rented a place we called ‘Henrik’s Hovel’ because it was one but touched on our block; and we slept in our bed with a mosquito netting over it so that a huntsman could roam about all night above our heads. His name was Mr. Spiteri. 😀
    The show of your view: it looks to me EXACTLY like one of those marvellous colour plates of a painting you see in an historical book about [X]. Post-prod. methodology noted down, I imagine.

    • Just a simple import to Photoshop, sepia tint added in Silver Efex Pro and then exported back to Lightroom for the finishing touches. I used PS to do all the spot healing of the rain on the lens. Much faster.And no, M.R., these are indeed the size of a saucer. Its all in the legs. The body is not particularly big but those legs, like Twiggy’s, go on for ever.

      • I s’pose I will admit that yours could be a different … ahh … variety. If we had ’em that big Downunder, you’d hear screaming non-stop !!! 😀

  2. That is one threatening spider, Andrew. We found a black widow on our deck, and that was bad enough, but then we found a brown recluse, and it wasn’t nearly as scary as yours, though yours was harmless.
    I enjoyed the wonderful drizzle picture much more, and your proximity to fame…a much better way to finish the post!

    • I googled Brown Recluse Spider and it doesn’t seem to be a visitor you would want to welcome with open arms. At least it says ‘not aggressive’. I’ll keep my huntsman thank you, Marylin.

  3. Cor, what a whopper! That’s an arachnid and a half. I like your idea of taking Incy out to see the cardiologist – If he’s envious about your titfer, just imagine his face when he sees Incy’s scotch eggs. That’ll sort the men from the boys 😀

  4. I enjoyed all aspects of this post. As it was the first thing I read this morning it has set me up for the day – Happy Sunday! Plus I watched the hedgehogs frolicking again last night. No photos came out, but by pressing the video button, I got them snuffling and grunting away. Noisy little beasts.

    • Well don’t forget Joanne that I thought it was a gecko and they are ten a penny here. I did not realise it was a spider until I looked down.

    • We do Denise but to be honest I have only heard of one person being bitten. She disturbed a tarantula by accident and it was not amused. Normally they scuttle off.

  5. Oh, I have so many Huntsman stories from our years in AUS. I think the best is when I turned the defroster on in the car, while parked, and one seemed to leap out of the vent. I screamed so loud, people asked if I was alright. :-/ then the SOB disappeared and I had to drive knowing it was lurking somewhere. The Huntsman also liked to hide in our letterbox. A few times I pulled out mail with a spider all to happy to run up my arm. Ugh!
    Obviously, your cardiologist lacks style. A Huntsman scare is in order! Good luck on Tues. Too many medical appoints for the Hardacre family.

  6. Your Huntsman is much larger than ours, Andrew. But then everything is bigger in Hong Kong. Huh, oh sorry, that’s Texas. 🙂
    I love those leggings. The effect on a super model’s legs might not be optimal, but it works great on Spidey’s.

  7. My mother was terrified of spiders. When I was 12 I left a paper cut-out of a spider on the kitchen counter. The last we saw or heard of mum she was screening and running out the back hate and down the back alley. Dad suggested I not do that again.
    If I saw the huntsman I would have overtaken mum!

  8. He seems completely harmless ( as I back away from the screen), I think I would have jumped and run back into the house. Nice shots and story, a little more wary about wanting to visit Hong Kong.

    • Ah Ben, they won’t harm you. But luckily its the wrong time of year to visit HK – late in the year is best. Cooler and lower humidity.

  9. Are you really saying that this creature was sitting on your shoulder? 😮 😮 😮 😮 The thought alone just gives me the creeps and goosebumps as high as the Empire State Building!!!

  10. I’m not sure how I missed this post but here I am with my two cents. This is quite a nice shot of the huge spider. I can’t say it’s pretty but maybe it has charm. Well not that either. I have no more words except I’m not a fan of arachnids. z:-)

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