www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Tales from the land of Don't -8/8/2014, 6:07 PM

'Kansas Fishes' hot off the press -8/8/2014, 6:07 PM

Pheasant tour off target -8/1/2014, 8:17 AM

Pheasant harvest falls again -7/24/2014, 11:02 AM

Biologist calls idea 'ludicrous' -7/18/2014, 2:13 PM

Appeals court exonerates Texas water board -7/11/2014, 12:01 PM

Survey finds more prairie chickens -7/11/2014, 11:52 AM

Hunting outlook up; duck numbers sharply higher -7/11/2014, 11:52 AM

New round of federal lawsuits at loggerheads with one another -6/20/2014, 11:34 AM

KDWP&T OKs regional ban on prairie chicken hunting -6/20/2014, 11:34 AM

KNRC not ready to give up -6/20/2014, 11:34 AM

Serenading a historic landmark -5/30/2014, 11:03 AM

KNRC set to ask for more money -5/30/2014, 11:03 AM

Kansas seceding on wildlife -5/9/2014, 8:31 AM

Kansas courts back federal endangered species law -5/9/2014, 8:30 AM

Review nearing completion -4/25/2014, 11:07 AM

Bat species should be studied, biologist says -4/25/2014, 11:07 AM

Bats an economic benefit for farmers -4/24/2014, 11:08 AM

Walleye smaller, still productive -4/18/2014, 11:00 AM

In the baking aisle, shoppers agree environment is critical -4/18/2014, 11:00 AM

Lawsuits lining up on listing -4/11/2014, 11:00 AM

Webster too low for irrigation -4/10/2014, 11:00 AM

-4/4/2014, 4:55 PM

-4/4/2014, 4:55 PM

FWS lists prairie chicken as threatened -3/28/2014, 9:47 AM

Whooping cranes reach Kansas; winter numbers up slightly -3/28/2014, 8:35 AM

Ferret numbers still tumbling -3/28/2014, 8:35 AM

Oklahoma, oil group suing FWS -3/20/2014, 9:59 AM

Divining rod for discs -3/20/2014, 9:59 AM

Despite valiant effort, no success in finding snowy owl -3/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Capturing the moment -3/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Kansas: Not so flat after all -3/7/2014, 3:49 PM

Rod, reel a good fit -2/28/2014, 7:53 AM

Spring just a snowstorm or so away -2/28/2014, 7:53 AM

At 90: Best deer ever -2/21/2014, 10:33 AM

Tests confirm 5 new CWD cases -2/14/2014, 10:13 AM

Senate votes to invoke 'sovereignty' over state's prairie chickens -2/14/2014, 10:13 AM

KNRC to deliver report, asking for more money from member counties -2/7/2014, 10:50 AM

Group flunks states, federal agencies dealing with prairie dogs -2/7/2014, 12:12 PM

Brownback ready to sue feds -2/7/2014, 10:50 AM

Big oil companies bankrolling conservation plan -2/6/2014, 10:50 AM

Audubon blasts 'sovereign' bill -1/31/2014, 9:49 AM

Feds again asking for listing comments -1/31/2014, 9:48 AM

Utilities enrolling in program -1/31/2014, 9:48 AM

Listing controversy continues -1/17/2014, 10:30 AM

Friends on the water -12/20/2013, 9:54 AM

Federal wildlife agency lays out rules for oil, gas protection -12/20/2013, 9:54 AM

A beckoning -12/13/2013, 9:08 AM

Listing more likely as FWS adds rules -12/13/2013, 8:59 AM

It's happening right before our eyes! -11/29/2013, 10:28 AM

Governor's Ringneck Classic draws a crowd -11/22/2013, 9:29 AM

Drought saps pheasant numbers -11/8/2013, 6:50 PM

Sporting clays sure to be hot at hunt -11/8/2013, 6:50 PM

Counties set to talk chickens -11/1/2013, 12:08 PM

Dangerous delight -10/18/2013, 9:44 AM

Coping with (more) bad habits -10/11/2013, 12:01 PM

Celebrating fossil discoveries -10/11/2013, 11:51 AM

Making a wish come true -9/27/2013, 11:39 AM

Prairie chicken numbers tumble -9/27/2013, 11:39 AM

Counties meet FWS, present plans -9/20/2013, 12:25 PM

Oakley man in pursuit of grouse -9/13/2013, 11:23 AM

Counties hoping to halt listing -9/6/2013, 11:54 AM

Going outdoors -8/23/2013, 10:15 AM

Wetlands no longer bone dry -8/16/2013, 11:46 AM

Duck numbers remain strong -7/26/2013, 11:48 AM

Updated survey, conservation plan upcoming -7/26/2013, 11:39 AM

Pheasant outlook not so bright -7/19/2013, 11:48 AM

High heat, strong winds finally show a beneficial side -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

FWS delay reopens comment period -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

Study refutes wind tower effect on greater prairie chickens -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

Flowering cacti drought's treat -6/21/2013, 11:58 AM

Building a bridge over a key spring -6/14/2013, 9:57 AM

Country matters: Lemon painted-cup taking over -6/7/2013, 8:52 AM

Wind dampens great camping -5/31/2013, 12:22 PM

Wildlife benefits can boost CRP offers -5/24/2013, 11:42 AM

Camping season begins -5/24/2013, 11:42 AM

Field day focuses on wildlife needs -5/17/2013, 11:52 AM

FWS making big changes for LEPC rule -5/10/2013, 2:14 PM

Pheasants Forever biologists planning workshops on CRP enrollment -5/10/2013, 2:14 PM

Conservation plan nearly complete -5/3/2013, 10:31 AM

Final prairie chicken meeting upcoming -4/26/2013, 8:31 AM

Wildlife highlights Trego forestry day -4/26/2013, 8:31 AM

NRCS recognizes area volunteers -4/26/2013, 8:30 AM

Learning to cope -4/19/2013, 9:30 AM

Legislature weighing in on ferrets -2/15/2013, 9:50 AM

New meetings set on chickens -2/15/2013, 9:50 AM

Wildlife watching tops outdoors -9/28/2012, 11:38 AM

Drought dries up waterfowl area -9/14/2012, 11:59 AM

Holiday blast expected despite lower water -8/24/2012, 10:05 AM

Fate of lesser prairie chickens in air -8/17/2012, 1:46 PM

What to do when the doves fly away -- too early -8/17/2012, 11:40 AM

Logan County seeking court review -8/10/2012, 12:53 PM

Youth outdoor festival fast approaching -8/10/2012, 12:52 PM

Opinions mixed on CRP release -8/3/2012, 12:09 PM

NRA asks to intervene in federal lead-ban lawsuit -8/3/2012, 11:33 AM

Water levels precarious -7/27/2012, 12:57 PM

Drought allowing predators to snatch up newborn pronghorns -7/27/2012, 12:57 PM

Cedar Bluff a boost to economy -7/27/2012, 12:57 PM

Court ruling brings mixed response -7/20/2012, 2:12 PM

Dry weather a concern for wildlife -7/20/2012, 2:12 PM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
Spiders, scorpions enough to thrill

[var top_story_head]

Spiders, scorpions enough to thrill

Published on -10/13/2011, 2:57 PM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Everyone knows the diddy about lions, tigers and bears -- oh my.

But spiders and scorpions? Who knew?

I do now, that much is for certain.

While talking with David Hille about his ongoing problems with a crush of deer in the upper end of the Cedar Bluff wildlife area, he made an otherwise innocent mention of spotting a tarantula while checking cattle.

Never one to shy away from the absurd, even though I'm loathe to have anything to do with spiders, I was quickly curious.

Spiders aren't such a common sight at his Trego County ranch, spotted only occasionally and during the fall of the year when -- to borrow slightly from Shrek -- male spiders go in search of "gurl" spiders.

So I told him to let me know if he spotted more.

He was quick to call back, letting me know that not only did he spot one, but he captured it as well.

That was a weekend and I was off to greener pastures, literally, as I headed east where enough rain had fallen to keep the grass green and growing. (Not at all like home, where I've only mowed half my yard. Yes, half, and only once.)

While he was going to keep the spider for me to see, it was soon commandeered away by a fellow church member and Washington Grade School teacher who thought it might be cool for her students to see.

While I was quick to think, aw, shucks, I also reasoned the educational opportunities for students far outweighed my nagging curiosity.

So, I shrugged it off, and told Hille if he was so lucky as to find a third to let me know.

He did, and in fact now has captured six of them this fall.

After the third, however, I was soon en route to get my spider, creepy and crawly as they might be.

First, however, Wikipedia was the answer machine, telling me tarantualas -- Texas brown ones at that -- are native to southern Kansas. Don't tell anyone, but Trego County is not in southern Kansas.

Males, those out searching for girl spiders, don't live long. Females, on the other hand, have been known to live 30 years in captivity, where they are considered to be good pets because they are so docile.

Thanks, but no thanks. I have a dog and he's enough to wear me out.

Hille then mentioned the presence of scorpions on the ranch, not so surprising considering the limestone outcroppings there.

So, when I went to pick up my new spider, we went searching for scorpions.

They were hiding of course, but we found a few. Five to be exact.

So there I was the brand new owner of a tarantula and five scorpions.

And to think I just wanted some photos.

Undaunted, I passed along my new "pets" to daughter Emma, who immediately wanted them for school show-and-tell.

Not a good idea for venomous critters. So I agreed to go along, show them and tell the students what little I knew.

It didn't take long.

But the kids oohed and ahed just the same, while the creatures were safely in glass jars.

It was a learning experience for me as well, becoming aware of the range of critters out in the wild.

Sure, they're venomous, but not overly so. Still, you wouldn't want them running loose in your house.

Outside, well away from the house, they're not such a bad thing.

And so intriguing to look at. Or photograph.

I loved it as much as the kids.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos