Colorado has several factors for which people know it: Politically it’s totally pro-abortion after lawmakers specifically deprived the unborn of any rights whatsoever. It’s all-Democrat in the government so it’s far left, and it even has a gay governor.
For tourists, there are the mountains and ski slopes, and lots of days of sunshine. Rafting and hiking are popular, and a major export is beer. The economy is so-so and housing prices are skyrocketing.
But it now has, according to a columnist, an attraction that’s not much publicized.
Perhaps with reason.
It’s that soon there will be hundreds, no, thousands of huge, fist-sized, tarantula spiders crawling across its countryside.
The column by Spencer McKee, a content and operations staffer for OutThere Colorado, is in the Denver Gazette.
He starts out with a warning to “keep those tents zipped up at night.”
Because the “storm of tarantulas” is coming and it is “sure to shock unwitting campers…”
“Every year, thousands of male tarantulas start marching around the southern part of Colorado, typically from late August through October as summer nighttime temperatures cool,” he explained. They generally appear in southeastern Colorado around the end of August, and roam throughout September.
A second southwestern wave will appear later.
“These fuzzy fist-sized arachnids creep around on a quest to find a mate and after mating, they’ll die – typically at the hands of their mate or due to cold weather,” the column said.
Good spots for watching are the Comanche National Grassland near La Junta, Ordway and between La Junta and Kim.
“At night, a spotlight can help spiders spotters find tarantulas while they’re on the move, with each tarantula capable of wandering up to half a mile each day,” the column explained.
“According to a report from USA Today, male spiders can take up to 10 years to reach sexual maturity. As they attempt to find a female mating partner hidden in a burrow about a foot underneath the ground, male tarantulas use their hairs and legs to detect vibrations. Sadly, these males will mate once and die, sometimes killed by the female they mate with. Female tarantulas can live up to 20 years or more,” the report said.
The columnist noted one of his favorite spider stories comes from the leader of a group of Girl Scouts on a past camping trip.
“The camping trip took place in the fall in southeastern Colorado and all campers were completely unaware of the tarantula activity taking place around them until ‘hundreds’ of spiders came marching through their campsite just before bedtime. Panic ensued and no one got much sleep that night…”