On another note, I had a nature encounter earlier this week that Mom has encouraged me to tell about. I was walking out the sunroom slider one morning looking for the dogs' red chewy toys when I walked right through a huge spider web that I didn't see. I must have gone right through the middle of it cause the threads were all tangled in my hair and face which I tried to brush away. I came inside the house, still trying to disentangle and I paused in front of the family room mirror, looking sideways at my reflection. And, there it was (sit down, Ben) -- the biggest spider I've seen in awhile was vigorously trying to scamper down the back of my shirt. I shrieked (not quite as girly as Ben), grabbed Boris and threw him to the floor immediately. I don't remember much after that - I think Mom escorted Boris outside where he belonged and the dogs were no help. That's my story and I'm sticking by it.
My brother Ben is terrified of spiders, FYI. One time there was a huge web with a gigantic hairy spider at the center (I'm guessing the same orange kind) that was set up right in front of our backyard light. You didn't see it until you came around the corner, and then it was right at your eye-level being illuminated by the light (this was at night). My dad discovered this one without walking into it, and decided to invite Ben out to see it without telling him what it was. Apparently Ben "shrieked like a girl" and jumped away when he saw the spider. I wish I could have been there.
**Update: found a picture of the species. It's a common Orb Weaving Spider, probably a Jewelled Araneus. They rarely bite, but I've read that their bites actually do some damage.**