Around the Bluhmin’ Town

By: JUDY BLUHM

I have always wanted to go to Greece. Eat delicious food. See the blue waters of the Mediterranean. Maybe have a sip of ouzo. And see spiders – millions of them. With 1,000-foot webs that have encased the western coastline of Greece, the beach town of Aitoliko has become a real mecca for spiders.

Like something out of a horror movie. The webs “cropped up” suddenly a week ago. Imagine one morning going for a walk along the coast to see all trees and vegetation mummified!

Called the “veil of webs,” these sheet-like monstrosities of the Tetragnatha spiders are a phenomenon of nature. OK, I love nature, but if I woke up one morning to an entire seacoast shrouded in white, like something out of a Halloween display; I might faint, or my screams would be heard around the world!

Nooooo! A Greek biologist states that “there is nothing to worry about,” since the spiders are not poisonous. Of course, we should worry. This is an invasion!

Do you fear spiders? If you do, you are not alone. Psychologists claim that one in three people on the planet are extremely scared of arachnids. Another third of the population find spiders “disgusting.”

OK, so I now realize where my fear (phobia) came from. When I was a child, my father took me to see a movie about a giant spider that kept growing and growing until it was a monster. It was so huge that a man driving a truck under the spider said, “I don’t recall this underpass.” No, you fool, you are driving under a humongous spider and are about to get eaten!

Another memorable scene was a lady looking out her bedroom window at two black orbs. “Honey, look at these two big black stars,” she calls to her husband. No, you have a spider standing over your house and those are his eyes peering into your window. Run for your life!

So, kids are impressionable, and a frightening movie about spiders can cause arachnophobia. But what about real life? Ever hear of the “fields of nightmares?” These are fields of spider webs that cover acres of land, looking like frost, except it happens during the summer.

Several years ago, a reporter in Georgia was walking across a “pasture of nightmares” when she discovered it was the webs of millions of baby spiders. Yikes call 9-1-1! This is a terrifying “phenomenon” that occasionally happens around the world. I am not making this up!

Oh, back to my fear of spiders. I must say that there is one gentle and handsome spider whom I dearly love and admire. His name is Manuel, the tarantula who comes each year to visit my friend, Diane. Now he is kind and easy going. He never builds a huge web to encapsulate her whole house!

Dreams are made of traveling to far away, beautiful places. So are nightmares… going to Greece anyone? There is always ouzo.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.