Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I have a post half-written about our time in the Mojave Desert.  And I DO intend to post it.  But it's getting long.  And for now I just want to share THE COOLEST THING that I saw the whole time we were there.  And there were a lot of cool things.

When we went to Joshua Tree National Park, the Park Ranger with whom we spoke was a really great guy - very interesting and really took our son aside and talked to him about things.  He was fantastic.  But the one thing that he told us and that was posted on all the doors at the visitor's center was that October and November are mating season for tarantulas.  They asked us to please be careful while we were driving.  Most of the year tarantulas stay near their nests, but during mating season, the males go wandering to find the females.  They are blind and stumble along with their sense of smell to guide them.  Roads are just hard sand to them, I guess.

So we're driving along and I'm just hoping to see one.  At the very end of our trip, as I'm thinking I'll not get a chance to see one on this trip, there he is, crossing the road.  So I got my husband to stop and I ran back to take a couple of pictures.

A tarantula!!  In the wild!! 

The whole time I'm thinking of all those people in Banff and Jasper who stop at the side of the road to look at deer (or elk, or bears, or even salmon) and here I am taking a picture of an arachnid.  But, boy, was he cool.  (Oh ... and I've been known to stop at the side of the road to look at elk and bears, too ... difference is that we don't have wild tarantulas up here and I may well never see another one wild and free like this.  Nifty!).

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