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The Tarantula Who Couldn't Sleep



It's winter in Houston which means Sydney Sue should be snuggled deep inside his burrow hibernating. Except... he's not. If you're not familiar with southeast Texas' climatological situation, here's the skinny:

It was 28° last week; it's 73° today. Tomorrow is forecasted to be in the 50's—then back to the 70's the day after. La Niña isn't at all conducive to seasonal spider slumber so Sydney Sue wanders around his house unsure of what to do with his unexpected bounty of time.

Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do to help him with his predicament. Diane sits in his room and has conversations with him in baby talk (he's a total momma's boy) and I take pictures documenting his boredom. Therein lies the purpose of this post: a visual record of the activities of a bored insomniac tarantula.

We begin with this photo of Sydney Sue eating one of my world-renowned gourmet crickets. His typical eating modus operandi is to hide in the corner protecting his catch from would-be cricket thieves. On this occasion, he leaned against his burrow munching on his feast in a pose reminiscent of James Dean.





In his Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, Thomas Gray states, "ignorance is bliss." In this photo Sydney Sue illustrates the sentiment by covering his head with his golden-striped knees in a futile attempt to block his view of the cruel, un-cold world:





Sydney Sue is not a sun worshipper, so it's out of character for him to allow the rays of the sun to directly contact his whiskered body. Yet on this day, he sat on the side of his burrow in full view of his window while contemplating the reality of his meteorologic conundrum.





Dirty Harry said it best when he quipped, "a man's got to know his limitations." We all have a breaking point and Sydney Sue found his. One day I went to check on him and he was nowhere to be found! I searched in all his usual hiding spots and he was gone. After several moments of panic, I finally spotted him tightly wedged between his block of petrified wood and his sprig of grass. 'Tis the truest test of a man—can he return from the brink of desperation with only his fuzzy butt and his little stick legs poking out from behind a plant?





In all seriousness, Sydney Sue is doing fantastic. He recently reached a major life milestone. He's now eight years old! He lives the life of Riley with his giant enclosure and tasty crickets. He sleeps all day in a hole he dug underneath his driftwood, only to emerge at night to enjoy the wintery blast from the A/C. Spiders aren't known for their love of the cold but I'd wager that Sydney Sue is part polar bear. Except for the hibernation part.

Stay safe and please take care of yourself and the ones you love. But most importantly:

Be nice to spiders :)





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