Farmers, First Nations peoples and others who have traditionally lived close to the land have a wonderful ability to predict the upcoming changing of seasons by looking at cloud formations, checking the thickness of the coats of various animals, wind direction and what have you. Weather forecasters have their instruments, graphs and charts.
I have my own personal predictor of the onset of true spring weather: spiders begin to abound inside the rectory.
In the past 2 days I have mashed, bashed, zapped, crushed, swatted, aerosol sprayed and otherwise slaughtered at least two dozen of the little beasties and have begun checking the white living room ceiling every time I enter the room, as that is one place they love to hang out with daily frequency. There must be some wonderfully warm weather on the way, since out of that two dozen or so eight legged wonders there have been no two alike. Wonder how many other breeds of spider I will discover inside the house this spring. Wonder how many dozen more I will have the "joy" of finding crawling in my bed, over my shoulders, in my hair and dropping down on long strands of webbing right in front of my face as I sit and watch the living room television?
The other places the spiders seem to love as much as or more than the living room ceiling and carpets are the bathroom off my bedroom, behind the headboard of my bed and along the baseboards under the big window in the kitchen. In other words, they adore popping up in 2/3 of the rooms in the house!
In another month, as the big outdoors continues to warm up, there will fewer spiders in the house and the next onslaught will not be until they return to the house seeking warm nooks and crannies to hibernate or give birth or lay eggs in or whatever spiders do to preserve their species over the next winter. They will likely return sometime in October.
For now I am getting darned good at using a fly swatter to wing them off the ceiling and my eyes are becoming quite adept at following their trajectory so I can track them down immediately they land on the carpet or the window or the curtains and finish them off.
My husband is far less bloodthirsty than I when it comes to spiders, although he has no compunction about killing mosquitoes when they have the audacity to land on him. (which they rarely do if I happen to be around to munch on instead) When it comes to spiders of any breed he is all compassion, scooping them up on a sheet of paper and making a beeline for the front door, depositing them gently on the grass or into the planters. We have learned to ignore, without comment, the differences in the way we each treat the two spider infestations each year. As long as they are not inside the house I don't really care, although mass slaughter is my preference.....
So, apparently spring has arrived in our town. The spiders tell me so.