Eight Legs AND an Aqualung?

After our riparian preserve walk adventure yesterday, Dan and I decided to cool off in the pool.  It was dark by the time we made it into the water and because the pool is lighted at night, every bug in the neighborhood seemed to be joining us.

We became a two-person beetle and moth rescue patrol.  It felt like good karma to lift the little bugs to the safety of the deck (unless of course we were ruining their insect vacation of a lifetime) and we really didn’t want to swim with them in the water.

Our rescue mission hit a snag when we encountered a wolf spider.  First of all, I had no idea spiders could swim, but they can.  I’m sure the pool seemed like prime eating to the spider with all the other little bugs in there but sorry, Mr. Spider, I don’t want to do the crawl next to you.  (Get it?  Crawl?  Spider? Hahaha…I crack me up!)

Dan and I approached the spider cautiously and were “encouraging” him towards a wall he could use to crawl out of the pool on.  “Encouraging” meant we stayed a safe distance away and gently pushed the water towards the wall, taking Mr. Spider with it.

All went well until a beetle chose that moment to latch onto my finger.  I screamed and thrashed and Mr. Spider started sinking.  And sinking.  And hit bottom.  I felt awful.  I’d inadvertently drowned him.

But wait!  Suddenly he was crawling–more like running–along the bottom of the pool.  To the wall, up the wall, towards a light.  And when he tried to traverse the light, he’d fall off and sink to the bottom again.  He did this over and over.

Dan and I finally moved to a far corner of the pool, well out of the spider’s range.  We chilled for another ten minutes or so and then decided to check on the spider one more time before we got out.

Poor little guy, he was at the bottom of the pool and look like he’d finally bought the farm.  But wait!  Suddenly he was moving again, making another run up the wall!  Amazing!!!

We went back home at that point and I’ll always wonder if the spider ever succeeded in finding his way out of the pool.  And also just exactly how long a spider can survive under water.  And if I need to watch out for this same guy the next time we go to the pool.