Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Parting Gifts from New Mexico: Tarantulas

"They're big. They're hairy. And it is the season for them to copulate."

On my last weekend in New Mexico, I received beautiful parting gifts. This is about one of them.

On Sunday, my very last day in New Mexico, as I drove from Ute Lake State Park to the Texas border, I saw eight tarantulas. Eight. Most of them on a 10-mile length of road.

The entire year in New Mexico to this point, I'd seen nine tarantulas. The entire year. And on this one day, I saw eight.

Tarantula on side of road, near Ute Lake State Park, New Mexico

Thank you, New Mexico.

(And I saw two more in Texas.)

So my New Mexico total: 17 tarantulas.

The quote at the top of the page is from this article about the ongoing mating season in New Mexico.

Tarantula. Credit: DesertUSA


Anonymous said...

The little yellow butterflies are the spawn of the cut worms that devastated the crops here at Bosque Redondo.

Mzuri said...

Thank you for this comment.

It provoked much thought about the - ability? appropriateness? challenge? - to appreciate something that has beauty and which also does harm.

A few weeks earlier I'd been touring about in a NM community with a guide, and when I remarked on the loveliness of the yellow flowers massed in a pasture, she said they're a nuisance because the horses can't eat them, so she sees them only as weeds.

The same rains that threatened homes and historic sites (such as Bandelier's visitor center) also replenished the gasping reservoir lakes in New Mexico.

Is it possible to acknowledge both the beauty and the threat in something? I think yes.

Thank you again for your thoughtful comment.