“Tim…I don’t mean to scare you…but there’s a huge @%* spider above your head!”
Tim didn’t look up to see. Instead he looked at me, half horrified, and simply said, “Where?!”.
“Above your head, man!” I exclaimed as I pointed up.
He hesitantly looked up and around and saw a spider the size of a beverage coaster propped above him on the ceiling. Just there…lurking…leering…waiting.
It wasn’t just there in our room. There was one just like it creepin’ in the bathroom near the hinge of the door.
These spiders had four beady eyes and eight segmented legs that were covered in prickly fur. It looked similar to the menacing wolf spider, a type of arachnid that hunts its prey, instead of waiting for its victim to succumb in its webs. I was personally glad to have these spider hunters around to capture all the smaller, peskier bugs that were nearby. Pokhara, and even Nepal as a whole, is littered with giant mutant bugs that I’ve never seen before. Just the other day while I was in a class, a hornet that looked like it had a school bus attached to it, latched itself onto my back. I kept calm and carefully shook it off my body. I had no idea what sort of stuff that flying beast was capable of! Hopefully the spiders here like to eat those sort of things. They have to because some of the spiders I’ve came across here are some of the biggest I’ve ever seen!
On a small afternoon walk around our village, Emre, Tim, and I spotted a gigantic skeleton spider, perfectly nestled between two bushes. It was a shiny black with intricate yellow marks on its abdomen and about as big as my hand. No exaggeration there! Based off it’s coloring, I think this mother trucker was venomous and deadly. I’m not messing around with that one.
One of my favorite subjects to photograph are spiders and weird insects in general. I don’t know, but there’s something about them that fascinates me. They have an interesting look and are generally harmless if you leave them alone. They’re our friends; they eat all the annoying bugs for us. Knowing that a cool looking monster spider could be anywhere here, I always had my Nikon and zoom lens ready for the moment.
“Amish, can you show me some big spiders around here?” I asked him.
“They are anywhere,” he said with natural confidence. “They’re all around.”
And they most certainly are everywhere. You don’t have to look far.
“Can you show me where there are snakes?” I asked Amish.
“No, no, no!” he said, while laughing.
“How many snakes have you seen around here?” I asked.
“Thousands! A lot, a lot, a lot!” he exclaimed.
Of course he was exaggerating, but there’s no doubt he saw lots. After all, he’s lived up here his whole life. I wanted to see one but it looks like I was on my own for this. I’m keeping my camera on me at all times just in case folks!
The food chain is apparent here in the countryside. The pesky insects are eaten by the monster spiders in our room. The monster spiders are eaten by the colorless lizards that are crawling around the house, or maybe the spiders eat them since they’re pretty much the same size. The occasional field mouse that pops up, eats the lizards. The snakes, that I have yet to find, eat the mice. The golden hawks that glide over the mountain eat the snakes and the mice. The wild boars eat the mice too. And then the bengal tigers that I probably won’t see, eat the boars and go back into their perfect hiding spots untouched by man. If I saw a wild tiger here then that would be great! But if I didn’t see a wild tiger then that would also be great!
The sounds of all these creepy crawlies may make you feel uneasy. I understand. I have friends at home that can’t even look at a picture of a spider without cringing. Rest assured, I will always torture my friends with a mystery snapchat of a creature I come across, but unfortunately the Wi-Fi is non existent here in the mountain village, so it will be difficult to do that. I need the Wi-Fi to blog. It’s looking like posts while I’m here will come over the weekend. Most weekends I plan on staying over in the city to meet up with other volunteers and partake in excursions all over Nepal. This weekend, Emre, Tim, and I will be making a trip over to the Lakeside, where the Wi-Fi is better, to meet up with other volunteers that we split up from in Kathmandu.
This oughta be a very fun weekend!