Thursday, July 21, 2016

Waterfalls and Exterminators

It's been an eventful week for us! Over the weekend, we took a day trip to Cummins Falls State Park in Cookeville, Tennessee. It's a small state park in the hills of Middle Tennessee, and it's definitely a gem.

You walk about a mile (both on land and through shallow water) and then arrive at a beautiful waterfall that allows swimming. The park is staffed by rangers who enforce a set of rules (no alcohol, etc) in order to ensure a family-friendly atmosphere.

It was 95 degrees on the day of our visit, so the trail and waterfall were both very crowded, but we had a blast.

Here's the view from the lookout point. Before it reaches the water, the trail becomes pretty steep in spots, as you have to walk down the side of a cliff. But we passed guests of all ages, so it is certainly doable for families with young children.


A few days after our waterfall excursion, Mr. Handsome and I were sitting in the living room, relaxing after a delicious dinner of deep dish pizza. He was talking to his dad on the phone, and I was folding laundry.

I looked up and noticed a creepy looking spider by the front door. It wasn't huge, but it looked odd to me. I grabbed a piece of paper towel and ran over to squish it, quickly realizing that it was not your average house spider. "I think I just killed a brown recluse spider!" I shrieked.

Mr. Handsome, still on the phone, told me that it was probably nothing to worry about, but he quickly finished up his conversation and came over. After conducting some research online, he turned to me and said, "You know what? You're right. It's a brown recluse."

I just about had a panic attack. A poisonous spider? In our house? This had to be a bad dream. We contacted our landlord, and she made an appointment with an exterminator. Have you ever found poisonous spiders in your house?

38 comments:

  1. What beautiful views at the state park! I think I need to make a trip to Tennessee :)

    Brown recluses are terrifying. My cousin's shed was infested with them a few years ago, and he was bitten by one. Not sure what he did to get rid of them though. I hope the exterminator gets rid of any rogue brown recluses! (Or that the one was just some crazy fluke.)

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  2. Anonymous7/21/2016

    Spiders and other insects make me shudder in general. I just looked up a recluse spider, and although I don't think I've seen one before, they do not look poisonous! I will be much more catious in the future.

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    1. Anonymous7/22/2016

      I did the exact same thing and had the same reaction!

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  3. Anonymous7/21/2016

    Well I certainly wouldn't want to find a brown recluse in my home (or anywhere for that matter!), I do think that was a bit of an overreaction. Over the past fifteen years, my family has encountered a handful of black widows as well as one brown recluse in the house. Definitely disturbing encounters, but we didn't call the exterminators! The chemicals are just so toxic for humans, pets, and wildlife that we didn't consider it worth it. Nothing ever turned into a big issue either.
    The state park photo is lovely, Ellie - Tennessee looks just beautiful! Sure hope I get to visit there one day!

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    1. Anonymous7/22/2016

      That's not fair to say it is an overreaction. It's their home and Ellie and her husband are obviously not comfortable with the type of spider! I'm with Ellie...call an exterminator! :-)

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    2. I agree that exterminator chemicals aren't ideal, but thankfully the fix for spiders is to put out a bunch of sticky traps. (The exterminator shared that with our landlord, and she brought us some to set out.)

      Ellie

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  4. Living here in Ecuador, you truly find out how many dangerous animals actually live here. From Dengue and Paludismo mosquitos, to several kinds of poisonous snakes.
    I hope you and Mr. Handsome stay safe.
    Cheers all the way from Ecuador!

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    1. Yikes! Do you sleep with nets around your beds?

      Ellie

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    2. We used to sleep with "toldos" around our beds when we first moved here. But when my dad built our new house, he made sure to install screen windows to avoid getting mosquitos in the house. Strangely, it doesn't appear to be working since I noticed a few bite marks on my arms. ^_^

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  5. Anonymous7/22/2016

    I was vacuuming once and moved a mat away from the door. There was a black widow spider, shiny body and red spot and all. I usually don't kill spiders but that one had to meet its maker. Saw another one outside once when we moved a patio table and it was underneath. I am more scared of extermination poisons than spiders, so I don't have anything sprayed. I just stay away from black shiny spiders.

    I had meal moths in my pantry one time and even cleaning thoroughly and carefully didn't get rid of the last moth. I kept seeing them flying around, as if they were hatching anew from somewhere. So I went outside & searched for spiders. Brought some into the pantry, closed the door, and let them do their thing. Within days, I found webs, and after a week, I had no meal moths left! The spiders accomplished what I couldn't. Plus they were completely safe to have around food, unlike chemicals. Nature's handy little exterminators.

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    1. What a great story! I'm not sure I could handle seeing webs all over my pantry, but I sure do admire your ingenuity. Thanks for sharing!

      Ellie

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  6. Anonymous7/22/2016

    The view is spectacular! So beautiful. :)

    We live on a farm in South Africa and we do get spiders but I haven't come across any poisonous ones in the house, at least I don't think so. We get snakes too but they're small.

    http://catsofclaridge.blogspot.co.za

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    1. Anonymous7/23/2016

      Hahaha I just wrote this comment and later that day, there was a python found on our farm! It's at the dam.

      http://catsofclaridge.blogspot.co.za

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    2. Oh my! That's frightening. What do you grow on your farm?

      Ellie

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    3. Anonymous7/24/2016

      We're one of the families that live on this farm, we're actually missionaries so, it's a mission station too. Our main crop is Dragonfruit although we did have berries and exotic fruit like starfruit, Jaboticaba(Brazilian Grape), persimmons, tree tomatoes and other stuff too! You can take a look at the Dragonfruit photos I uploaded onto my blog a while ago :

      http://catsofclaridge.blogspot.co.za/2016/01/dragonfruit-flowers-doing-some-drawing.html

      Also: http://catsofclaridge.blogspot.co.za/2015/04/easter-early-winter.html

      ~ Sele'ha

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  7. I live in Australia and we have lots of different types of poisonous spiders. The most common one I've seen inside the house is the white-tailed spider. Lucky it's usually just the one so you can kill it and not worry about there being more. We also have the brown recluse spider, as well as the red back spider and Sydney funnel web spider just to name a few. Must say I'm glad I only come across them rarely!

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    1. That's neat that you live in Australia. I've always wanted to travel there on vacation, but it's so far away. Have you been to North America?

      Ellie

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    2. It is a long way isn't it. If you ever get the chance it is a beautiful country to see. Aussies are very friendly, particularly in the Northern parts of the country.
      Yes, I have been blessed to visit North America some time ago. I spent 2 months on a road trip from New York to Florida, doing missions work and sight seeing too. I was particularly fascinated by your squirrels, they are sooo cute!

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  8. Anonymous7/22/2016

    Any chance it came home with you from park??? That is scary! Good luck with the exterminator!

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    1. I don't think so, although I suppose it's possible. The exterminator suggested we try sticky traps, so our landlord brought us a bunch to set out. Hope they catch any poisonous spiders left in our house!

      Ellie

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  9. I'm from Australia, we have lots of poisonous spiders. I'd rather have them than a snake though, which are only rarely found inside but more likely to attack.

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    1. I definitely agree that spiders are better than snakes. Another commenter on this post is also from Australia. I sure do love having readers from all over the world.

      Ellie

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    2. I saw that, I was pretty thrilled too.

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  10. Anonymous7/22/2016

    Yuck! That is so scary.

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  11. Shela G7/22/2016

    The water fall is beautiful!! Seems like you had a wonderful summer outing. Nothing better in my book then enjoying Gods cereation.

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    1. Thanks, Shela. Amen to that. :)

      Ellie

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  12. Anonymous7/22/2016

    Please be careful with chemicals that exterminators use. Here in arizona we have to worry about scorpions, but never use anything non natural especially because we're trying to get pregnant again :).

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    1. Thankfully, the exterminator had us try sticky traps first. Hope they work.

      That's exciting news. :) How many children do you have?

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous7/23/2016

      Just one :).

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    3. Well I'll be praying for your growing family. :)

      Ellie

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  13. I never had a brown spiderin my house. Your lucky it wasn't in your bed. We did have a big black spider in are shower once my sister screamed and made my dad kill it.
    But we use to get crickets in are basement a lot.

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    1. Anonymous7/26/2016

      I would suck the crickets up in a Dusk Buster vacuum

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  14. I know someone who found brown recluses in their house... they ended up killing over 60 of them!

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    1. Yikes! I sure hope we don't find 60!

      Ellie

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  15. Anonymous7/26/2016

    Very rarely do we get spiders in the house; they like to hang around on my front porch. Always sweeping webs, but I've never been scared of spiders. Rats and mice are something else. My cats have done a very good job of keeping them away! I am trying to get over fearing snakes. I have held two non-poisonous ones and held a dead rattlesnake. Their underbelly is actually very white and soft.

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    1. You sure are brave! :) I don't think I would have the guts to hold a dead rattlesnake, but that's interesting to hear that their underbellies are white and soft.

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous7/27/2016

      When I was a room mom at my son's school and into PTA, they needed someone to assist a reptile specialist who was coming to show his snakes to the kids. The PTA president asked me how I felt about snakes, and I said I didn't know...never held one, but I had no deathly fear that I knew of. So she recruited me to help the snake man. The morning he showed up, I had exactly 10 seconds to get over any fear I might have had about touching snakes. They simply felt like a man's leather belt that could move on its own. No big deal. All his snakes were non-poisonous, and he even had an 18' long python that took many people to hold up. Most of the kids were fine with the snakes, thought they were "cool," and wanted to touch them and look at them up close. It was the adult teachers who were lined up along the sides of the room, looking pale and not wanting to get anywhere near the snakes!!

      So that day cured me of possible snake fear, although I don't like it when I'm working in the yard, move something, and out slithers a snake. It's the surprise factor that gets me. We do have copperheads here, and I know of one neighbor and two animals who were bitten on our street. The neighbor had to be hospitalized. One of the animals, a dog, died from the bite. So snakes are still creatures to be respected.

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    3. Wow, another brave person! That's hilarious that the teachers were more afraid than the kids.

      Ellie

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