Mom and Dad used to have cats that lived outside and came twice a day for food. They were always breeding and bringing along their kittens. The kids would argue about who got to name the new kittens. One year when Mom and Dad came to Ohio for their month-long visit, the cats went elsewhere looking for food and they've never come back.
This year, Mom and Dad have some different kinds of pets hanging around outside the screen door.
I sat on the patio and looked outside the screen. What I saw looked like some kind of windchime. It curled down like a spring and it had a star shaped spiky thing in the middle. I didn't have my contacts in, but instead of getting up to look at it, I asked Mom and Dad when they joined me on the patio.
"Is that a wind chime?" I asked.
"Oh, no. It's our new pet," Mom joked.
I walked closer and saw that it was a big spider on a bigger web. The part that looks like a spring is the reinforced web in the center.
Mom decided to leave the spider and its web so the kids could see it. She planned to tell them that the spider, and its two smaller friends on the webs next to it, were replacing the cats. She hasn't let them name the spiders yet.
Here's a closer look at this spider. The common name is Banana Spider. But it shouldn't be confused with the Central and South American banana spider which is venomous. This guy is longer and leaner. The venomous guy is thick and hair looking.
Here's a comparison to Tucker's hand. He is on the other side of the screen, of course. Tucker has the biggest hands in our family, so you can see that this guy is no small fry.
I hope Mom doesn't want help pulling the webs down. If she does, I think I'll send Earl to help.
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