My big spider survey project launches tomorrow. I’ve got a long list of people who have volunteered their residences, and starting at noon, we start cruising the mean streets of Morris, Minnesota, seeking spider-haunted garages, and plunging into them to count and classify arachnids. This will be painless if they’re sparsely occupied, but judging by the surge in the spider population at my house this week, it may be a grueling task with hundreds of eight-legged freaks clamoring for our attention. Thousands? Oh god, may die. The price we pay for Science.
I’m estimating a week spent on this first phase. Then another week a month from now. Then another week a month after that. Then some spot checking as fall and cool weather descends. In between, we’ll be culturing spider embryos in the lab — my colony is currently about 20, 25 strong, and I plan to triple that in short order, and then at last, the spiderlings will be pumped out assembly line fashion, and there will be no limit to my aspirations!