Monthly Archives: February 2006

Close Encounter: The Eight Legged Type

Last night a friend and I stopped for a quick chat outside and noticed a massive spider web being spun. The spider itself would have had a body about 25mm across and a diameter (legs semi-extended) of about 10cm. The main anchors on the top of the web were attached approximate 5-6m high on one side while the opposite were attaching to the smaller trees and shrubs at between knee and chest height. Of course, that doesn’t give you an idea of how big the web was until you realise it was spanning our driveway – probably about 4m wide!

While we chatted, I walked closer to it to marvel at its size and to watch it spin its web. Unfortunately, due to where we were standing in relation to the lamp post – I failed to see another similar sized spider lurking in the darkness about 20cm above my head! As I moved to a better vantage point for spider #1 – the light caught the silk of the second web at which point my eyes immediately trained up to see the spider dangling just above my head.

I love spiders to look at, I think they are an incredible creature. However, due to their size (quite small on the whole), lack of weight and stealth – they tend to freak me out when I find them in unexpected positions. I’m confident that they would have been harmless but they always make my skin crawl when they get a little close for comfort.

Roadworks: Timing Is Everything

I like roadworks, they are carried out to improve the condition of a particular section of road. What I don’t like is that the people that schedule them seem to have little concern for the volumes of motorists which traffic those same sections of roads each morning and afternoon.

If a particular section of road is undergoing major work, then closing the road or some portion of it is justified during peak hour traffic. If on the other hand, the work being carried out is quite minor, then the work should be scheduled for the off peak times of the day.

At the Gold Coast, there are two major arterial roads that run parallel to the beach and they service a huge amount of traffic at peak hour. This morning, a 500m stretch of the right lane was closed inbound to the city. The problem of course, is that they did it at peak hour – so the huge volume of traffic merging caused congestion and delays.

Is it too much to ask that minor roadworks are not carried out between the hours of 7am-9am and 4pm-6pm?