“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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...a new birdwatcher in our family?

GOOD FENCES
linking to Good Fences


Fencing along the walkway toward the jetty at Zahn Park/Beaches and Packery Channel boat ramps.



WILLY NILLY 5
linking to: Willy Nilly Friday 5

1] ..-. .- .. .-.. ..- .-. .   Right off the bat I must give my critique of The Ghost of the Mary Celeste written by Valerie Martin. Now for me, it is my understanding that the ship was found in the 1870s...abandoned. With no one on board. The ship was still intact, and towed to Gibraltar...with a mystery that has never been solved. Now, I was captivated by the title and really looking forward to reading an historical novel about the crew and the ship. But this published work was highly disappointing. Yes, I read the entire book. Even tho it continued to go down hill. Instead of the story of the ship itself, the author struck an idea and went off on several different tangents having nothing to do with the disaster/mystery at sea...concentrating on spiritualists, a journalist, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [who in real life wrote a short story of the Mary Celeste]. And the abrupt ending ...the last few days of the life aboard the Mary Celeste left me hanging...so, who is the ghost?  The seer? The spiritualist?  In part, the author has one person disappearing days before it was abandoned [according to history chronicled dates and time].   I'd give it one star out of five. It did keep me turning the pages in hopes that the 'tide would turn' to the ship instead of its babbling on and on about nothing to do with the disappearance of the passengers and crew. In my opinion, the book itself was a disaster. I was expecting more on historical fiction, but came up short. I'm very pleased of one thing....that I didn't buy it off the bookstore shelf; borrowing it from the local library was a wise move. What's the distress signal for failure? [ see above:  dot dot dash dot / dot dash / dot dot / dot dash dot dot / dot dot dash / dot dash dot / dot]

2] We, here at Hootin' Anni's home, seemed to have acquired a new bird0watcher enthusiast!!   Click on images to enlarge to see what he sees....

...Winston

3] I first heard about this when we retired to Arizona. There is a legend throughout the Sonoran Desert  about cicadas. Once you hear them 'singing' while they're well hidden in trees and surrounding areas -- the legend states it will rain soon! The Southwest is 'famous' for their monsoon season, their haboobs [blinding dust storms], and flash flooding. After I learned of this folklore and cicadas, I began to pay attention. Sure 'nough within a few weeks of hearing my first cicada calling, it rained. The monsoons began. Much relief to the parched desert. The lightning shows are something to behold! Scary...and CLOSE. We had lightning strike our house once,......went through the roof/attic space down the entire electrical system. We lost all appliances, including TVs and computer. The computer had a surge protector...this doesn't work with lightning...just power surges after power outages. No matter...my #3 tho should state, the cicadas are singing up a storm here!!! Storm did I say? Not yet. Wondering if the legend is part of Texas lore?!!

4] Speaking of insects. Here's a couple of groaners: a] "A centipede is an inchworm that has switched to the metric system." b] "One fly to another fly: 'Your human is open' "

5] I'm keeping tabs on all the Republican AND Democrat hopefuls for 2016. Reading some of the newsworthy sites online about all the scandals, etc. one reporter stated this...and I quote from the website in condensed version: "....in 2016 every single candidate will have some sort of politically motivated attack on them"....I say: "ummmm, y'think? And this is news? In what way?"


SKYWATCH
linking to:  Skywatch Friday


...the two dark spots seen are Swainson's Hawks!! Autumn migration is just around the corner. Yes!!!!


CRITTER FOR SATURDAY
linking to: Camera Critters - Saturday Critters

Anxious to get back to the car from our two mile walk...you'd find us venturing down by the river and the ponds for birding early one morning. It was sultry by the time we turned around and began our leaving the area. I wore a large brimmed hat and had decided to wear long sleeves and a pair of jeans to ward off a whole swarm of mosquitoes feasting on me through the tall grasses as we traipsed through the woodlands. Of course I was soaking wet with perspiration by now...stopping in the shaded areas to cool down and head back out into the sun. Once we stopped at an old abandoned bird blind, I happened to look through its opening and spotted something I wouldn't like to see in my dreams even!! A huge Yellow and Black Garden Spider. They're not lethal to humans, but still dark and sinister looking!!! We stayed there long enough for me to focus my lens on it and left!!!

104 comments :

  1. Ewww, it is horrible, but nevertheless a good picture! Well, I still like the cicada legend, it is nice to think of. that they would sing to the rain. Your picture of one is super.

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    1. ...they ARE creepy looking I'll give you that.

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  2. Egads- those dark legs make him look even more sinister! Your new bird watcher is a cutie. I'm trying to half-heartedly pay attention to new candidates...I've about given up on our government.

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    1. ....you and me both, our government is also giving us a half hearted show!!!

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  3. Uh oh, birds love this hobby, don't they? Mine sit in the large wraparound bathroom windows and quiver every time a bulbul or sparrow come to the tap to drink! Have a great day, Anni! Jo

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ...this birder, Winston, was so silent as he looked at the pictures...it was comical.

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  4. Hi Anne, my time is just not my own it appears...so busy for being retired. hard to catch my breath...truly and then get caught up as well! Cicadas...one year when it was the 17 year Magi-Cicadas. We had them everywhere. Their cast shells were in piles beneath trees and they sang all day long, from dawn until dusk. I said then, I hope I live to hear them once again...not sure how many more years before the Magi-Cicadas come out of the earth again, but I long to hear them. We have a few of the regulars arriving at this time in the big city, but nothing so amazing as what happens out here~

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    1. I've seen these only on TV documentaries...thank goodness.

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  5. What a cute new birdwatcher.. I can hear the cicadas here but I do not see them, thank God! Great set of photos. Enjoy your day!

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    1. ...I'm a bit biased...my new bird enthusiast is a dear friend of mine. LOL

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  6. Pleeeez no spiders... they freak me out completely!!!

    You are very fortunate, Anni, to be living in an area so filled with nature, birds, animals, ocean creatures...

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    1. ...I like it here.
      Thanks....and to be honest, I don't like spiders either...especially when they're large and menacing like this one.

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  7. I'm really sorry that the book turned out to be a disappointment. It sounded so promising.
    Your new birdwatcher is pretty cute!
    That spider picture is really good, but the spider creeps me out.

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    1. ...I'm kinda partial to our new birder!! lol

      Oh yes, I don't like spiders either.

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  8. As always, your photos are wonderful. Hate spiders....but this one is interesting looking...
    I guess everyone has wondered about the mystery of the ship...

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  9. i love the argiope spiders - as long as i don't walk into them. :) my mother-in-law used to call cicadas 'dry flies' so that seems to be the opposite of your rain indicator. and ours sure sing all summer (although they're quiet now).

    thanks, anni!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ...well, I guess someone should love the spiders...not me. lol That's a first....the 'dry flies'...now I'm gonna have to pay attention to see if it remains dry or rains here. Thank YOU for hosting Ms. T.

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  10. I love the sound of cicadas! Always have. My mamaw and papaw always told me that when you start hearing them, it's a sure sign that fall is around the corner :)

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    1. ...ewwww, their song grates my nerves after a while. I sure hope that lore is true. I'm ready for Fall.

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  11. When grandson stayed with us, he's 10, it was funny to watch him walk across the yard flailing his arms striking down "invisible" webs in his path.

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    1. I can picture this in my mind!!

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  12. Winston you have gorgeous eyes!! OMCS....sighing in NC...and your Mom's photos are beautiful!!
    Hugs Madi your bfff

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    1. Winston here: "All the better to see you my dear Madison!"

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  13. Think I'll skip that book. I thought it would be all about the disappearing...pretty kitty...scary spider!

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    1. I was hoping for the same thing....guess I shoulda read more on the reviews before getting excited to read a novel of the ghost ship. lol
      Winston sends his thanks...and indeed the spider WAS scary.

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  14. Your new bird watcher has the most beautiful eyes! And that cicada is creepy looking... until I saw that spider. (shudder) But it was a fun journey from my safe vantage point. :-)

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    1. ...I know what you mean...I loathe snakes and when someone has photos of them on their blogs...I'm glad I'm sitting in my chair viewing instead!!

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  15. Inquisitive minds need to know the answers to what happened in the past, sorry you
    didn't find the answers in the book.:( The cicada must sound a little like our crickets, which I love to hear on a summer evening. I'm fascinated by spiders, but I wouldn't want one in my bed.Hubby found one in his yesterday, and caught it in a jar for me to photograph.Posting soon!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. no...crickets do not even come close...or visa versa.

      I would still be running if a spider was in my bed crawling on me.

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  16. I haven’t thought about the Mary Celeste in a very long time. It was a fascinating mystery and it’s a pity the book didn’t meet up to expectations. Your latest ‘bird watcher’ is as cute as a button, made me smile. I have never heard the legend of the cicada before. I had one land on our screen the other day. It was different to those I have seen before, more of a green color. Usually they have more reddish tones but maybe it was in another stage and I have not noticed this before. They have been very noisy lately. You’re right, nothing new on attacking political opponents is there? Great picture of the spider. I had one run over me last night while I was sitting in the chair. Didn't think I could move that fast! This has been a fun post to read, thanks Anni. Have a good one.

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    1. Oh sure....we can move if need be...and fast. I'd be jumping 'n' running too!!

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  17. I don't like insects too much and I'm really afraid of spiders ):
    And the beach is wonderful!

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    1. I don't like insects or spiders either.

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  18. Replies
    1. ...Winston's a sweetheart. Thanks.

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  19. What a cute little birdwatcher!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...that he is...I think so too.

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  20. What a cute fence picture. Its amazing how many different kinds of fences folks invent.

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    1. Yep....the designs are so eclectic and ingenious on some!!!

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  21. love your fence and cicada......the spider, not so much lol

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    1. LOL....Bud and I picked up the expression "Not so much" from the movie The Lone Ranger...I had to giggle. Thanks Felicia.

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  22. Wonderful post filled with lots of information and fun stuff and great photos.
    Your fence shot towards the beach was really pretty.
    The Cicada is so weird looking and the spider was a bit creepy but I loved your shot.

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    1. ...thanks Ida. I too think the spider is more than a bit creepy. lol

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    2. Back again from Willy Nilly Friday - I see I missed commenting on your new bird watch, how could I have forgot that sweet face. What an adorable cat.

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  23. You have a pretty birdwatcher! When I read No. 5, I muttered "duh"! And that is news? lol!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ...exactly!!!! You and me both.

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  24. The jokes are groaners, but made me chuckle!! Love the cat bird-watcher!! Your photos are always wonderful! Interesting about the insects!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ....my dear Winnie is such a charmer!!

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  25. That's a scary spider!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...maybe your baby gecko would like a taste? They're not poisonous.

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  26. Cicadas aren't making much noise up here in the Austin area. Needing lots of days of good, soaking rains. Love the fence! I was suddenly back at my Granny Chandler's place. She lived next to old Hwy 75. It was a two lane road at that time. I am old.....

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    1. I could send all our cicadas up to you in the Hills!!! Just ask! But, the rain if we get any...sorry, I'm not sharing.

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  27. I stopped what I was doing...and reading to tell hubby, I am yearning to be at the ocean! Just looking at your beach scene makes me long for the sea! Enjoy your week my friend! Sweet hugs, Diane

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  28. Sorry the book was a disappointment. I too would have wanted to read about the crew and what happened to them. Hope we all get that rain here in Texas while there is a chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ,..it did rain for about an hour...not NEARLY enough tho.

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  29. Oh, Anni, I must have had a "feeling" about that book! I went to Abe books, my source for great-condition used books for cheap, and found the one your were talking about...but also a factual account. I couldn't help it. I bought the non-fiction one, thinking, well, I'll get the fiction book later. But now I won't. Sorry it was a disappointment. I sure am looking forward to reading the one I ordered. I'll let you know about it!

    Love that bird-watching kitty! She probably wonders why they aren't moving about and singing! :-) She's a really pretty cat too...or he. I had never heard about the cicada folklore, but now I will pay more attention. Ouch on that lightning strike on your house! We had that happen a LONG time ago in Texas. :-) Great fence, too!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We have used Abe Books also. It's a great site to find out of print books!!!

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    2. I usually don't "go back" and see someone's response to my comments but when I can I like to do so on your blog. I have to hold myself back about not ordering books every month both from Abe and Amazon. It's like an addiction! :-) Glad you like Abe as well.

      Delete
  30. Wow! Nice series of images.

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  31. I scrolled quickly over the spider :) Cute photos of Winston studying the bird images, I wonder what his thoughts are? Nice fence too. Have a great weekend, Anni!

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  32. That's a handsome spider! And a great shot of the hawks.

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  33. Anni, What great shots of the spider and the locust (that's what we call them here in Kansas). Keep me posted on the candidates - I must admit I don't know what to believe and what not to believe. It makes it very hard to vote for a good, honest person to serve the people of America. Have a great weekend. Mickie :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ...but locust are just big grasshoppers...so different than a cicada. Oh, politics are a joke if you want my opinion...I never thought they could get worse, but they ARE!!

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  34. Too bad about the book not being what you were hoping. Love the pictures of Winston "bird watching" that's so cute.

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    1. Thanks Ann....how is Duke?

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  35. Love the cicada legend! They have been singing here but no rain and we need it! Love those big old garden spiders, they are the only ones that don't freak me out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...to me, all spiders are nasty! lol
      We got a bit of rain yesterday, not nearly enough.

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  36. Cicadas sure are an interesting group. Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  37. Awesome pictures! I too would be fascinated by the story of a ship like that. We visited the Queen Mary when we were in California and it was so fascinating. Like being able to walk around on the Titanic!

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    1. ...Yes. I like boarding ships of the past too.

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  38. the new birdwatcher starts from school...
    from books.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ....shhhhh, don't tell Winston he is in school.

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  39. The hawks soaring high awake the spirit of freedom!
    http://amitaag.blogspot.in/2014/08/summer.html

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    1. ...spirit of freedom...I like that.

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  40. Hi Anni, thanks so much for sharing your post with my critter party.. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. ...thank YOU Eileen for hosting.

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  41. The spider looks scary! Living in a busy city. it's hard for me to find them.
    Happy weekend!

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    1. ...I wouldn't complain. I'd be very happy to not see 'em. But, I do know they're there...you just don't take the time to look for them.

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  42. I'm fascinated by that story too, and it's always a shame when a reader has more pull in turning the pages to a book, by their/our own hunger than what an author delivers for us. I wonder if we'll ever get to know the true story?

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    1. ...it was quite disappointing.

      Delete
  43. Let me first say that Winston is CUTE! I also love that name. As for the cicadas.... I live in Texas and every single night the cicadas are practically screeching their little heads off. (Especially in our great oak behind the house). They are l-o-u-d, and we're pretty much in a drought. I used to love hearing them, but these days not so much. It's like they're having a party all night long. ;o)

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    1. Yes, I agree 'bout Winston, but I'm a bit biased. Don't you think?

      And they ARE loud. Pretty sure we agree on that.

      Delete
  44. Cool shot of the spider in its web. I don't like spiders and our spiders are all tiny and harmless compared to yours.

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    1. ...thanks Gunilla...I don't like spiders either.

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  45. Winston is a beauty! I love his eyes! And the spider ... a little creepy but fascinating! A great post!

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  46. Good close-up shot of a creepy critter!

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  47. When I see garden spiders I always think of Charlotte. I get frustrated in the fall when their webs seem to be everywhere and I hate walking into them and wondering where the spider is. Good shot of the long legs.

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    1. Oh yes, I don't like walking in webs either. It's been a long time since I thought of Charlotte. Good movie.

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  48. Good for you for calling a bad book a bad book!
    I love the kitty. We have tons of cicadas but soon they will stop singing when the cold weather comes!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

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    1. I'm really looking forward to colder weather!!!

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  49. The end of summer is here. I love the warm, blue skies though. :)

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    1. I can't wait for cool days!!!

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  50. This post is amazing and your photos are just stunning.

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  51. oh that bird watcher is adorable!! i had never heard of a cicada till we moved in missouri and they were soooo loud all summer long. you just got used to it! we have them here in virginia too...i don't remember if i heard them in georgia....hope you will join willy nilly again tomorrow!!

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  52. Spiders give me the hibbie jibbies. Eeeeek!

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