We approached Black Creek Lake. There was a fascinating tree hollowed out – it was just large enough for my ventriloquist’s doll Percival to pose for a photo… or maybe I could fit? I didn’t want to walk back to the car to get the doll so I decided I’d try to fit my head through the tree. My head would provide better scale for the photo anyway.
I approached the tree and surveyed the area. There was an ant mound that could be a problem. I tapped the mound with my shoe to see if ants would emerge. Nothing. The area looked safe.
I got down on my knees and poked my head through the tree. Tore suggested putting a flashlight inside the tree for even more dramatic effect. I happened to have a flashlight in my vest and pulled it out.
I repositioned myself on the ground—lying flat, fitting my head through the tree. I saw spider webs inside the tree. But none of the webs looked fresh. It was rather cozy in there. My torso and stomach felt a bit sore – I seemed to have a lot of uncomfortable gear packed in the front of my vest.
The photos were taken and I carefully got up off the ground.
When I got up, I looked down where I had been and I screamed. I could barely get the words out.
There’s a spider!
I got closer to the spider and was convinced it was playing dead. It wasn’t moving.
We poked the spider with a stick. It was lifeless.
My best guess – I must have squashed the spider with all my camera gear in my vest. (WHEW!)
Location: LBJ National Grasslands
Date: September 24, 2016
Photos: The two photos with me in the tree are courtesy of Tore Bellis.
Notes: This incident happened before the Harrowing Experience.