Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Missus Pav's Almanac

If the guelder roses are in bloom and there's a huntsman spider in the mailbox, this must be the fourth week of October.

Time to bury a lamb's fry at the roots of the passionfruit vine while muttering Shakespearean incantations under the full moon. (Better still, time to chop down the passionfruit vine and plant another one that actually fruits after it flowers.)

And if there's a huntsman spider in the mailbox this week, then next week will be the week that two huge fat blue-tongues will come rustling up onto the doormat outside the back door looking for water and frighten the bejesus out of the cats.

I can step over the blue-tongues, but if anyone knows how to get a huntsman spider out of the mailbox without either [EEEWWWWW SHUDDER] touching it or killing it, please let me know.


Bernice said...

Try the gentle persuasion of a squirt from the hose. During watering hours of course. Just don't stand close enough for it to leap on you. Unless you don't mind.

genevieve said...

Ever tried those amazing cobweb brooms that look like oversized toilet brushes? That's all I really use mine for. Spiders with longer legs can't get out of them very quickly.
GIves you enough time to take them elsewhere and shake them off.

Melly` said...

I usually use the largest recycled envelope I have on hand and try coax it into that... with a stick or something.... and then try relocate it. Every time I drop the envelope I am horrified I have hurt it. But honestly I only ever injured one by accidently removing a leg (and it lived for ever) and another because when it jumped at me I put my hot coffee cup forward and it landed in that.

My geckos live in the letterbox now... one has somehow grown two tails from me and him/her and our daily meetings.... no sign of spiders since though? You could move one of your geckos maybe? Coax the blue tongue into the letter box with some dried cat food... they love that stuff?

I confess there are times I have considered just getting a PO box and letting the critters do their own thing.

ThirdCat said...

You can borrow my littlest boy for the afternoon if you like...he'll clear you out of spiders, slater beetles, caterpillars, flys and a zillion other bugs you never even knew you had.

He comes complete with his own bug catcher but requires a constant diet of bananas.

TimT said...

That's an awesome spider! Perhaps leverage it out with a big bit of cardboard or something?

Imagine going to fetch a New Yorker or Bulletin or Monthly and finding that lurking amongst the pages!

Anonymous said...


Don't post photos like that without warning us first!

And there's worse than huntsmen in the letterbox, like huge spiders (of undetermined species) wandering across the windscreen when you're driving down Grand Junction Road at night.

B Smith

Anonymous said...

*recovered mode*

You can move spiders by directing jets of air at a long straw? Vaccuum cleaner with "blow" mode? Just put your lips together and blow....

(if you've ever seen the late 70s movie "Kingdom Of The Spiders" it's apparently how the thousands of spiders were corralled to where they needed to be in shot by the filmmakers)

slightly better now
B Smith

Zoe said...

Its in ur letrbox

Fanging ur mails

Another Outspoken Female said...

I like the idea of giving the neighbourhood kids a thrill. Just hand write a sign and stick on the letterbox "really big spider - free to a good home". A bit of homespun freecycling.

Stephanie Trigg said...

'course, with such a sign, you might never get any mail again...

lucy tartan said...

After it gets thoroughly dark, stand about ten inches from the letterbox wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. Spider will then leap swiftly and noiselessly out at you.

Pavlov's Cat said...

'a squirt from the hose. During watering hours'

Ah yes, disentangling a spider with a four-inch wingspan from the magazines, bills and fliers from now till Sunday.

'close enough for it to leap on you'


'when it jumped at me'


'Coax the blue tongue into the letter box with some dried cat food... they love that stuff'

Nice suggestion, but can't see the blue-tongue getting up the ivory-covered post. Tx for hot tip about cat food, but.

'Imagine going to fetch a New Yorker or Bulletin or Monthly and finding that lurking amongst the pages!'

I don't need to imagine it, TimT, only to remember it.



'huge spiders (of undetermined species) wandering across the windscreen when you're driving down Grand Junction Road at night'

I drive down Grand Junction Road at night two or three times a week but have not had this happen so far. Hoons shining laser lights into the eyes of the pilots of police choppers, yes; spiders on the windscreen, no.

'Its in ur letrbox

Fanging ur mails'

A LolSpider!

'Spider will then leap swiftly and noiselessly out at you.'


Word verification: yoyzi. Is this what spiders say instead of BANZAI, or is it the noise I make as I leap backwards and fall over the hose reel?

Pavlov's Cat said...

Ivory = ivy. In my world, anyway.

Mindy said...

From a quick google on the interwebs (ha!)

Why do my vines flower but don't set fruit?
There are several reasons for vines flowering but not setting fruit.
• Poor pollination. This is the main cause and can be due to bees not working the flowers (for example during heavy rain); temperatures being too low or too high for pollination (optimum temperatures for pollen germination are between 20°C and 35°C); or rain directly reducing the viability of the pollen (moisture causes the pollen grains to split).
• Boron deficiency.
• Extended periods of overcast weather. This may cause flower drop regardless of pollination problems.

Gardening Australia recommends planting Ned Kelly Passionfruit in Southern Australia if you are looking for a replacement. They also recommend pelletised chook manure twice a year and plenty of water and mulch. Unfortunately they don't have any advice on getting spiders out of mailboxes. There is actually a website that has done some lol spiders. Maybe you and Zoe should submit yours?

meli said...

My Grandma would pick it up for you, in her hands. I've seen her do it. And she lives in Adelaide...

Liam said...

To get a spider out of your letter box: insert a frog.
To get the frog out of your mailbox: insert a magpie.
To get the magpie out of your mailbox: insert a cat.
To get the cat out of the mailbox: insert a possum.
Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Mindy said...

Or find an old lady who swallowed a fly. I hear they are always on the lookout for a spider.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Ah, the biological agent solution. And the next thing you know, the cane toads have made it to Antarctica.

Can anyone explain to me why I am so much more frightened of huntsmen than I am of redbacks? Duh. I'm deeply ashamed to say that I think it's because huntsmen are big ugly hairy bastards and redbacks are incredibly elegant and beautiful. With those values I deserve to get toxically bitten.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

make a noise like a trapped but alive a juicy fly but stand far enough away so that when s/he jumps s/he lands on ground and misses you. Or wear a shiny slippery plastic coat so that if it does land on you it can't get a grip.

Bernice said...

Ok so you don't want wet mail. Wait til a Liberal Party canvasser knocks on your door, act a gammy leg, & ask them to just pop over to the mail box & get the mail for you...

Zarquon said...

Sorry if I'm a bit late...

What you need is one of these.

JahTeh said...

My one and only talent.
First put a large plastic bag over the back of the letterbox.
Second, spray a small amount of flyspray into the box. This will not kill just make dozy.
Third, push into the plastic bag and dump into the neighbours yard.

Anonymous said...

Hope you didn't see the second half of The Incredible Shrinking Man on the TV today....

Stephanie Trigg said...

Dear Missus Pav,

Please do your regular readers a favour and make another post - about anything, really - so as to get that wretched beast out of that front page of your blog. Ever occur to you that by blogging it you're putting it in the letter boxes of your devoted readers?


Pavlov's Cat said...


It's 11.43 pm and the five urgent deadines have not yet been whittled down to four, though the re-jigging of the blogging talk is much more fun than I was expecting it to be and this week's SMH reading is steaming along nicely (two novels down and two to go). So I will see if there is any more wine in the fridge, and if there is I will try to think of something to witter on about.

JahTeh said...

Thank you for calling down the curse of the spider god on us. I walked into the lounge this morning and there was Huntszilla on the lace curtains. I have to wait until he's on the wall or ceiling before I can catch him.
Personally I blame daylight saving.

Anonymous said...

remember that cute little huntsman spider that took up residence in your letterbox 2 years ago? well... I also have recently been providing guest accommodation to his cousin in Sydney and wondered if you could help me. I can't find any information on this but evidence is building that would suggest he is actually nibbling at the mail!!! Was there any damage to your mail. I thought I was pretty familiar with Huntsman antics... Thank you. A.W.