They are big, ugly arachnids. Most people are afraid of them, but they shouldn’t be. The big spiders are docile and will only bite if provoked, and even then their mild poison will sting, but that’s about it.
Some people keep tarantulas as pets. They aren’t warm and cuddly, but they are hairy, which can provide a little tactile stimulation.
Right about now, the males of the species in the Southwest are feeling a little horny. It’s the time of year where they begin their search for a female. It’s like spring fever for us, except they do it in August and into October. It takes a while for some of these guys to find a mate. Seems hardly worth it, but that’s the way it is with tarantulas.
Scientists say the majority of the spiders are 10-year-old males.
So keep your eyes open. But not everywhere. The thousands of big, hairy spiders that are about to head out en masse are Oklahoma Browns. They’ll march into southwestern Colorado in search of females that burrow in the prairies.
If you would like to see these fellows in action, and maybe a few lady T’s, too, Colorado tourism experts believe the peak viewing day will be Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. in the Comanche National Grassland, south of La Junta.
So mark your calendars. It’s not a sight you see very often!