I feel safer already. Sitting here, at my desk, behind my screened window, out of the intense sun and feeling my heartbeat slowing back to normal.
It is official. I have now encountered a Huntsman. Not just any encounter. Not a giant spider across the room or on the ceiling, or scurrying under a bed. No. Those encounters are for amateurs. I just had the thrill of one racing up my leg in the garden. My shriek of terror alerted my elderly neighbour, who likely thought I had just come face to face with Beelzebub himself. Frankly, that may have frightened me less.
I am pretty sure, the Huntsman was equally terrified of me, but that is not my concern. I suppose I was in his territory. I was planting some nasturtiums in the garden and noticed a large Foxtail palm frond that needed to be removed as it was close to falling. I forgot that I had read somewhere that sometimes these spiders hang out in the decayed casings of these fronds. I yanked it down easily and went back to my digging, but clearly this arachnid was not going to let me off that easily. How dare I disrupt his comfy quarters! It all happened so fast. I barely had time to consider my options other that to scream and dance about the front yard like a mad woman. After my initial shriek, I believe I may or may not have used the F word two or three times, mostly because it seemed the only adjective harsh enough to express my fear, now disguised as anger toward the spider for daring to come into such close intimate contact with my body.
It wasn't a moment later I heard my lovely protective neighbour shout across the fence, "You alright over there Deb?". Now I was just embarrassed. I walked toward the fence so she could see I was indeed still alive. She thought something far worse had happened to me. We had a chit chat about spiders as I tried to calm myself and she even assured me she was no fan of them either. She even told me she does a quick scan of her bedroom each night to be sure there are none about. This is a woman who has lived here all her life and even she doesn't like them. Gawd! What hope is there for me?
I suppose the good news is, I did not get bitten and I have surely survived my first bodily contact with one, which I reckon has got to get me some sort of Australian badge of honour at the very least.
One more step of initiation for me here in the Land of Oz.
Let's hope I can skip past the snakes.