I woke up in the middle of the night with something tickling my face next to my nose. I woke up more when my finger didn’t land on my face, but on something that was on my face. I immediately squished it and turned on the light. Black blood dripped down from my face onto the bed sheet. Now the adrenaline is coursing through me. Next to the black blood falls the remains of a black spider, a pile of insect legs. As I am still trying to comprehend the scene, I notice the spider guts on my face are starting to tingle and sting. I stumbled into the bathroom and scrubed my face. At this point I’m more awake than I want be and know it will be at least a couple of hours before I’ll get back to sleep.
Now the questions. What species of spider were you and what were you doing on my face? Fortunately, I wasn’t bitten. I pulled out a magnifying glass and looked at the remains. Thick stout legs. Maybe a jumping spider. Not a black widow, which has long, spindly legs. Not another spider that I’ve known to bite, which is more gray. Then the sci-fi part of my mind takes over. Were you trying to mind meld with me?
Back in early March, I was feeling a bit stressed and decided I needed to get away for a couple of days. The trip was planned about 30 minutes before I left. I headed towards Glenwood Springs, Colorado about 3 hours away.
A winter storm had just passed through so I thought I would like to hike to Hanging Lake and check it out in the winter time.
Along the trail to Hanging Lake.
The trail was slick with snow and ice and I used my Stabilicers (cleats) on my boots. The scenery was gorgeous.
View down Glenwood Canyon from the Hanging Lake trail.
I was startled at the beauty of the lake when I got to the end of the trail. There were icicles in the falls and the water was a brilliant crystal clear blue-green in the sunlight.
That evening I had some really authentic Cajun food at The Lost Cajun, in Glenwood Springs.
It was either the summer solstice or the Perseid meteor shower in August, as these are the most likely times I’d be camping in the Pawnee National Grasslands. I was sitting on top of a hill watching the sunset when a couple of skunks emerged from a burrow about 30 feet down the hillside. They came up the hill a little closer. I was on edge, ready to bolt in the opposite direction, but they were oblivious to me. Facing each other, they reared up on their hind legs and began gently pawing each other. They’d spin, fall down and get up again. It reminded me of a dance. It was a very affectionate scene as they were silhouetted with the sun falling below the horizon behind them. When the sun was nearly gone, they disappeared back into the ground and I never saw them again.