Plantidote, Wed July 20, Marietta GA
I bought a flat of watermelons, squash, & cantaloupes this year to populate the space over a forty foot ditch I dug and filled in for some other reason. The squash is underperforming and the watermelons too, but we've had a new fresh cantaloupe for breakfast every day the last two weeks, and I can see about that many more out there.
When they turn from gray-green to yellow-brown they're ripe, and they've had the good manners so far to ripen only one or two at a time, thank goodness. I remembered to take the little flip videocam out when I picked one this afternoon.
I still had the video cam in my right hand when I turned the melon over to brush off the dirt before bringing it in. Had to turn the camera back on.... there was a fat little black widow spider there on the underside, clearly identifiable by the row of bright orange spots down the middle of the abdomen. Kill it and flip it over, and you'll see an hourglass pattern on the belly.
My wife left her garden shoes outside a few days, thirty feet away from the spot, and a black widow made a home inside one of them. They are inoffensive creatures most of the time. I understand you basically have to make them bite you by first cornering the things and then rubbing up against them, like in a shoe. The spider bit her, and she had to be hospitalized, trouble breathing, paralysis, inability to walk and so on. It was no joke, but she got out of the hospital the next day.
For most of my life, I've tried not to kill spiders. After all, they eat flies, don't they? But this time I got the shot, since I still had the camera in the other hand, then brushed the spider off (not with my bare hand, either) and killed it.