Thomas F. Riley Park; Coto de Caza
Last weekend, my friend and I went to Orange County to find tarantulas. In September and October, hundreds of male tarantulas leave the safety of their underground burrows and try to find a mate.
This might sound strange, but I have a childhood memory of sitting in the middle of a vacant desert road, smiling while tarantulas crawled all over me. Parental abuse aside (just kidding, guys), I thought it would be cool to recreate that picture as an adult. Or at the very least, to hold a tarantula. Just one. You know, seeing one cross the path wouldn't be that bad, either - is that too much to ask?
We were out there for two hours, and we didn't see so much as a spiderweb. We did, however, see a herd of deer peacefully grazing. As the sun set over the golden hills and a breeze gently swayed the grass, I pictured a black wave spreading towards the deer, on hundreds of hairy black legs. When the deer finally raised their eyes and realized what was happening, it would be too late; they would be surrounded by thousands of bloodthirsty tarantulas. You see, the books got it wrong - October isn't tarantula mating season, it's just when they leave the ground and eat a bunch of deer.