Erlene, The Bold Jumping Spider Who is Terrified of Grasshoppers

Most of you know how this story goes, thanks to my obsessive posting both here and on the social meeds; however, I feel like this teeny creature deserves a post all her own.

I once said the only way I’d end up with a pet is if it somehow adopted me. I am not a huge fan of responsibility- being a single mom is responsibility enough.

…I did not expect to be adopted by a small spider with curious puppy eyes and beautiful iridescent fangs.

And I did not expect, seeing how I hate spiders, to love Erlene as much as I do.

It began with Lauren sending me a page on Facebook- Ophelia the Monster. I fell in love HARD with the sweet looking regal jumping spiders.

Not long after my obsession began with the bright orange regals, I happened to spy a jumping spider peeking out from the side of a window.

I couldn’t believe it! WE HAD A JUMPING SPIDER!!!

I moved her outside, for fear she would starve in the house…but days later, she made her way back inside. I moved her from the porch to my plants- the place we met.

She’s a free range spider- exploring our southern window where most of my plants sit. I usually see her every day, but there have been a few she opts to stay hidden.

I’ve been worried lately because her abdomen is small- a sign she needs to eat. And frankly, the timing could not be worse. We don’t have bugs she can eat!

Today, I decided I’d procure food for her.

…and quickly learned she is terrified of grasshoppers. The only interest she showed was getting away from the one I had tried to give her.

Really, Erlene?! You’re a venomous spider that strikes fear into insects and humans!

I guess all beings are scared of something.

After the two invertebrates were free from the makeshift feeding jar, she decided to sunbath on the window….when a lightning bug landed on the other side.

Sitting on the bark I found for her to climb and explore 😍

Erlene went nuts! She had no interest in eating the grasshopper BUT WAS ALL ABOUT EATING A LIGHTNING BUG THAT SHE SHOULDN’T EAT BECAUSE IT WILL KILL HER!

This girl was making circles around it- so I knew she was hungry. It made me wonder how long she would have survived in nature if these are the food choices she’s making.

Oh, Erlene (shakes head).

I have mixed feelings about feeding creatures to other creatures but attachment got the best of me. I went to the garden and found a moth.

We discovered moths are acceptable.

She’s still eating. It’s been a few hours- I suspect she’ll have a fat abdomen come tomorrow. Assuming I see her because she could have a serious case of food coma that lasts well into tomorrow.

When I had lifted the container with the moth inside close to Erlene, she didn’t duck and run like she had with the grasshopper. She seemed a little skittish, but crawled into the empty peanut jar. Eventually, Erlene found her supper.

How did I become this person?! I NEVER thought I’d be taking care of a spider.

And yet, here I am, looking out for this tiny invertebrate that brings me so much joy. I think she helps keep me sane during this crazy time to be alive, strange as it may sound.

So much is going on in the world. It’s been nice to have a small being to care for- on top of my not so small teenager and numerous plants.

Erlene seems to be a missing piece of a puzzle that I didn’t know was incomplete. Besides, I have all kinds of love to give! Why not give some to a tiny little spider?

More posts to come.

Published by amberalice

I’m not sure how to summarize myself properly (I struggle with simply being human). But let’s give it a try! Spiritual witchy hippie who dreams of three day weekends and human rights for all. Lunch lady to the neighborhood birbs (white breasted nut hatches are the best!). Adore my jumping spiders. Oh, there are also 50 or so plants we share our home with. And some rogue lady bugs. It’s always interesting to see where they show up. Like on toilet paper. This is where I add a heavy dash of queer, neurodivergency, and vegetarianism. Am big on hugs- I give them most generously.

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