Friday, October 15, 2010

Cat Face Spider & Cougars

I know this is an odd combination for a posting but I found this huge spider resting in the corner of my siding just outside my studio where I was painting a cougar. 

Although she was very docile in the cold weather, I can imagine my fright if she were active and running around in my house.
Having never seen anything like her, I did a little research and found that these spiders are apparently not harmful and the markings on her huge body are supposed to look like a cat face.
They can vary in size from  5-7 mm long and 4.5-5.5 mm wide.  This one had a body about the size of my thumb but I couldn't figure out how to hold it next to her without scaring her or me.
I'm normally not a fan of spiders but I'd never seen anything like her.

Here's a great site for information if you're interested

Now for the other half of the post. 
Wikipedia link :

COUGARS- also know as the Puma, Mountain Lion, Mountain Cat or Panther

Although they are beautiful, they keep me alert and nervous when walking in the forest alone.
Cougars are predators - the top of the food chain - and their actions are often unpredictable. We have little understanding about what might trigger an attack, but following these general guidelines will reduce the risk of cougar conflict and prepare you in the unlikely event of an attack.

Cougars seem to be attracted to children, possibly because their high-pitched voices, small size, and erratic movements make it difficult for cougars to identify them as human and not as prey.

Talk to children and teach them what to do if they encounter a cougar.
Encourage and supervise children to play outdoors in groups.
Make sure children are inside before dusk, and stay inside until after dawn.

Do not attract or feed wildlife, especially deer or raccoons. These are natural prey and may attract cougars.

Roaming pets are easy prey. Bring pets in at night.

Do not feed pets outside. This not only attracts young cougars but also many small animals, such as mice and raccoons, that cougars prey upon.
Keep a radio playing.

Hike in groups of two or more. Make enough noise to prevent surprising a cougar.

Carry a sturdy walking stick to be used as a weapon is necessary.

Watch for cougar tracks and signs. Cougars cover unconsumed portions of their kills with soil and leaf litter. Avoid these food caches.

Cougar kittens are usually well hidden. However, if you do stumble upon cougar kittens, do not approach or attempt to pick them up. Leave the area immediately, as a female will defend her young.

If you meet a cougar:

Never approach a cougar. Although cougars will normally avoid a confrontation, all cougars are unpredictable. Cougars feeding on a kill may be dangerous.

Always give a cougar an avenue of escape.

Stay calm. Talk to the cougar in a confident voice.

Pick all children up off the ground immediately. Children frighten easily and their rapid movements may provoke an attack.

Do not run. Try to back away from the cougar slowly. Sudden movement or flight may trigger an instinctive attack.

Do not turn your back on the cougar. Face the cougar and remain upright.

Do all you can to enlarge your image. Don't crouch down or try to hide. Pick up sticks or branches and wave them about.

If a cougar behaves aggressively, arm your self with a large stick, throw rocks, speak loudly and firmly. Convince the cougar that you are a threat, not prey.

If a cougar attacks, fight back! Many people have survived cougar attacks by fighting back with anything, including rocks, sticks, bare fists, and fishing poles.


  1. OMG! I thought the spider that roams about my house recently was big but it's tiny compared to this one! I'm not too fond of spiders really but I found that once I had my own children and they were frightened of them, it made me much bolder about moving them into the garden. But even so, I think I'd leave your cat-faced spider well alone!

  2. Beautiful painting, I remember going hiking on Vancouver Island and seeing a handwritten note, Cougar In Area, at the start of the trailhead and wondering if it was safe.Went down the trail.We have had more come into our state because of the deer population growing.That heart in my last post is something i make when out shooting a lot.Fun to play with the colors, and I make a lot of hearts in sand,stones, snow and leaves since I am Golden Heart Productions.Did you notice the spider puts out 2 feet to feel its web?I found a smaller one this last week.

  3. Judy; I've learned to put up with them as long as they stay out of my bedroom.
    Out on the prairie; forgive me I didn't know about Golden Heart Productions, very creative of you. I didn't know that about the 2 feet. I always learn so much from you. Thank you for the kind comments

  4. Goodness me!! Monster spiders and marauding Cougars! I'm not sure I would be able to think of much to say to a Cougar in any voice let alone a confident one :)

    Your artwork is beautiful, how lovely to have such talent.

  5. I find spiders fascinating as long as they are at a distance. They get too close and they freak me out :) that is a very cool looking spider.
    Great information on cougars also. Love the painting

  6. That spider is huge! I have never seen anything like that. I always look at spiders--they are eerily attractive. However, I do not want any dangerous spiders near or on my person.

    Thanks for your informative piece about cougars--now I know what to do if I ever encounter one.

    Lovely paintings!

  7. Yikes! Do not like that spider. It is sooo big! I like Charlotte Web book and movie though. :)

    Love that cougar tote bag and mug. I hope I am closer to your studio.

  8. I love your cougar tips. It's also excellent advice to keep most other unwanted animals away too. Even though I've never come across a cougar myself, I've tested very similar things on many other animals.

  9. Shysongbird, Ann & Ren - thank you for your encouragement
    Jolly Princess - I like Charlotte Web's book too
    Ratty -Yeah! your back. I thankfully haven't had to try it

  10. Just popped back to say you did indeed comment on my post but scrolled down too far and put it on the previous one :) Thank you for both!

  11. I like the cougar post. I also like the spider. I had one we named Gertrude. But that is another whole story.

  12. Oh My Goodness!
    That is one GIGANTIC spider!!!!
    You are Very Very Brave!!!!!

  13. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You


  14. I once had a friend that would have fought ten guys even if he knew he'd lose, but he was scared to death of spiders. It made for some interesting hunting trips!

  15. Abraham - I'd like to hear about Gertrude
    Dawn - it takes more courage to drive that truck & trailor
    The old Geezer - I love your blog-glad you found me and I found you
    Gorges Smythe - I can only imagine how those hunting trips went -you'll have to write about it.

  16. Somehow during my recent illness I missed this post. Love the frightful spider. Never seen that type.
    Thanks for the tips on staying safe from cougars!
    Cougars are beautiful animals...nice painting!


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