Creepy Crawler Carnival #2
Giant Crab Spider
These rather largish spiders have become somewhat of a common sight in our house since it began to warm up. They're big enough, however, to make you glance twice before deciding to ignore it or shoo it outside. Sonja's first experience with one several weeks ago was a trifle traumatic, though, considering that she was leaning in to look at a blemish on her cheek when one decided to crawl down the mirror. I guess they look even bigger (and apparently quite monstrous, considering the resulting shriek) when they're three inches from your face and crawling across their own reflection.
Sonja's gotten much more tolerant of them since watching Charlotte's Web, though. As far as movies go, I guess that's a better one for helping cure arachnophobia than others I could name. Still, I like the name Shelob better than Charlotte.
It's taken some work to finally figure out what they were, though. I have yet to find a reliable source for spider identification. Considering its size (a good 2" across when its got its legs splayed out), I had it narrowed down pretty quickly. And since wolf spiders (the only other large, non-tarantula we've got around here) don't climb walls, that limited the field even more.
The coolest part about it is the eyes, I think. You can easily see all eight of them when you look closely. Giant crab spiders tend not to spin webs, but patrol around keeping a lookout for all sorts of yummy insects to eat.