summer_jackel: (Default)
Ok, I promised you all spider porn, and I would never dream of failing to deliver upon such a promise.

I'm pleased to announce that our first attempt to breed Chilean rose tarantulas has been a success! There are still many stages and months between now and a group of healthy, viable spiderlings, but mating did occur, and the male, who is apparently as competent as he is beautiful, even survived! It was fascinating.

More detail, with photos )
summer_jackel: (Default)
I have been meaning to do a spider update for awhile, since Josephine molted and exciting progress has been made in my long-term project of establishing a small, stable population of captive-breeding Chilean rose tarantulas. There are also snakes. Happy Halloween!

Photobucket

Slithery Snakes and Spooky Spiders )

Ecdysis

Oct. 12th, 2011 11:28 pm
summer_jackel: (coy face beautiful/serious/sad)
Josephine, my pet tarantula, is molting.
While I was doing other things, she
was toiling patiently, that she might ease carefully from herself
and now she is lying on her back, mostly still.
Her legs twitched weakly when I turned on the light
and saw her.

I turned it off again, after
I'd admired her tender new blackness,
her raw, red mouth and clear, unhardened fangs,
her splayed vulnerability. Spiders
shed their lungs, their stomach lining, all of it.
I wonder if it hurts. They don't complain.

And might we, sometimes, be
becoming something new; could we bear
to tear open our worn and faded selves,
to step, fragile and undamaged, from old safeties,
to lie quietly between death and renewal
to ask nothing but a little space to rest?
summer_jackel: (Default)
My Solstice was beautiful. Things are well with me right now, the world is gorgeous and green, and even politics are doing nice things; my love to New York!

In celebration, a bunch of random animal pics as I make an attempt on a three hour ride.

Horses, Pack, Tiger, Spiders! )
summer_jackel: (Default)
My menagerie has some new arrivals.

You may remember back in October, Kyn and I rescued three feral kittens and the neutered male cat who was taking care of them. The lady who had been caring for them reclaimed the cat, but despite a great deal of effort to place them, two of the three kittens are still with us. Kitten season is upon us again, and the lovely Cyril is no longer at the "tiny and cute" stage. The sad truth is that the supply of black and white moggies is far in excess of demand. He came to join my household a couple of weeks ago.

This pretty face was the one that filled me with delight in the seconds before I realized that he was a feral and was less delighted. Kyn and her household (including Rooster) did a fabulous job of socializing him; he's growing up to be just gorgeous, and incredibly friendly. He loves dogs, and is courteous with my other cats. As he has gotten though his audition period with me, is great company and causes little trouble, I am permitting him to stay, but I have absolutely, positively NO room for any more cats. Do you hear that, universe? Please don't send me any more; it makes me sad to have to cast them into an uncertain universe and I'm at my limit.

Photobucket

Isn't he a cute little guy, though?

More Cyril, dogs, a bird shot, spiders )
summer_jackel: (Default)
If you aren't sick of posts from me yet, here are a couple of photos of my pet tarantulas. Cleaning Chanterelle's box gave me a rare unimpeded look at her.

if spiders bother you, please don't click this. )
summer_jackel: (Default)
There is an African baboon spider in a box on my bedroom dresser.
Her kind is said to be ferocious, fast and venomous of bite;
I have found her to be shy.
Tucked away in a complex house of silk beneath a piece of bark
she lives her quiet life attracting as little attention
as she possibly can. Even her crickets
disappear quietly.

Quietly she molted in the great-room of her spider house
where it was safest; I watched with interest as she moved her shed,
finally tacking it to the ceiling, out of her way, a chandelier with too many legs.
It was with greatest trepidation and procrastination that
I finally removed it this morning. Moved her bark as gently as I could
Tore open her silken home, breathless,
braced for fangs.

The silk boiled with what looked like menace, then stilled
into a small orange spider, splendidly bright
all of her legs pulled as tightly over her body as she could,
pressed miserably into her smallest room. I cleaned the box
as quickly as I could, admired her, and apologized.
How tender they are, the fierce and toothy wonders of the world.
How vulnerable.
summer_jackel: (Default)
I got some really lovely shots of my pack, Nikolai and one of Josephine the tarantula.

About a week to Equinox )
summer_jackel: (Default)
More Sierras in late September. I love this one because of the reflection of the mountain in the lake.

Photobucket

many more )
summer_jackel: (Default)
My wolf spider, the Lady in Velvet, passed a couple of days ago. Although she was a rescue and of a species that probably doesn't live very long, and although I know I did a good job caring for her, I'm still sad about it. I'll miss her. She was surprisingly graceful and lovely, as well as being something of the quintessence of large, hairy spiders. It was neat to have her as a roomate. I am perhaps a little surprised that I managed to bond to a spider quite this much, although perhaps I shouldn't be given how attached I was to the tarantula I kept in high school. Maybe it was something about the way Velvet watched me.

All of my other animals are doing well, including Avi, who is growing inexorably but slowly. Her legspan might almost straddle a dime now. If she's actually female, she might live 20 years in captivity; it turns out that the really large hairy spiders take a long time to get large, in addition to being fragile.

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