In my last post I was waxing eloquent (or trying to) on the theme of protecting the creatures in our neighborhoods. I want to mention here that there are a couple of exceptions that I make to that protection policy. Namely, these are critters that have a direct possibility/probability of causing physical harm to me or my cat companions.
This past weekend a couple of wonderful friends from my lifegroup at church came over to help me convert a border of cinder blocks around my well housing and herb garden into a much nicer looking wall. The unknown individual who originally placed the blocks had laid them on their sides so that the holes were on top and made convenient depositories for leaves, dirt and debris, as well as homes for a host of small, creepy-crawly critters.
Our first task in creating the wall was to clean out all of the accumulated debris and critters in the holes, before we could fill them with cement and lay the paving stones on top. Now, I had previously seen a variety of creatures in that spot and was especially concerned about the 4-5 black widow spiders I had found. I didn't want to be working in the herb garden and have an unpleasant surprise meeting with one of those!
Well, as we began to clean out holes and move stones we began to find more and more spiders. We found at least four helpful wolf spiders and let them go their way (after all, they eat unpleasant critters like cockroaches). We got a nasty shock, though when we started finding the black widows. All totalled, by the time the project was finished, we had found and killed at least 20 black widows in a 4' x 15' space! The largest we found had a thorax nearly as big as a dime!
While I DO believe in taking care of all of God's creatures and I'm sure that He had a reason for creating black widows, I must say that I had absolutely NO problem with dispatching those in my herb garden!