Scorpion and Tarantula Sightings

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Scorpion and Tarantula Sightings
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By Robert Bernstein

Here are my photos from this past weekend of sightings of a scorpion and a tarantula in our area!

On Friday night we participated in the Friday night Sierra Club hike to Inspiration Point.

We enjoyed inspiring views at sunset:

Then we descended the trail in the dark. Someone spotted a small scorpion in the middle of the trail. I waited my turn to look at it and to get some photos!

As far as I remember, this was the first time I have seen a scorpion in our area. I have seen them in Arizona and in Mexico. Others said they have seen them before here.

On Sunday we went for a drive in late afternoon in the Santa Ynez Valley, keeping an eye out for tarantulas. In my experience they tend to appear along the roads in this season after around 4:30PM.
Interestingly, I have always seen them on roads closer to where people live. Not in the back country.

We started out from Solvang on Ballard Canyon Road. I was very happy to see this tarantula scurry across the road around 3:15PM in the afternoon heat and sunlight! He had already made it to the other side of the road by the time I grabbed my camera:

I jumped out to get a closer look. He was already in the dry grass along the side of the road, but I still got some good views.



My wife thought we should move him to a safer place, but it looked to me as if he was safe on the side of the road:

In this season the males roam the roads in search of females in their burrows.

We roamed the roads for another hour or so in search of the males. We tried Foxen Canyon Road. Figueroa Mountain Road. Refugio Road. Baseline Avenue. Edison Street. Armour Ranch Road. Happy Canyon Road. I have seen tarantulas in the past on each of these roads.

We enjoyed some beautiful scenery:


But no more tarantulas. Still, I consider it a success! One tarantula sighting is way more cool than none!

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a-1560950898 Sep 18, 2018 10:26 AM
Scorpion and Tarantula Sightings

Take a drive to Jalama in the early morning. This time of year you'll see loads of the tarantulas keeping warm on the road. There are so many that someone named the point break just south of Jalama Beach "Tarantulas".

Bug Girl Sep 18, 2018 10:16 AM
Scorpion and Tarantula Sightings

It's an omen that autumn is approaching. Males wander about looking for females in the autumn. I work out in the Santa Ynez Valley and we see them every year. Most often see them in October. If you see them other times of the year other than Autumn, it's usually just before a big storm, and that's pretty much the only time you see females leaving their burrows, anticipating being flooded.

Flicka Sep 18, 2018 09:49 AM
Scorpion and Tarantula Sightings

Thank you, Robert for your beautiful photos. That cactus has more fruit than I have ever. Magnificent sunset. I spent a lot of time riding in the mountains and camped often in the backcountry but never saw a scorpion. A-153, I still have a great purse and a leather skirt from Crispin Leather, bought about 50 years ago. Their products never wear out. Thanks for the mention, brought back good memories of the store and owners.

MicroDOC Sep 18, 2018 08:51 AM
Scorpion and Tarantula Sightings

Not all that uncommon this time of year. It’s mating season. Not as many out and about as in the past though. Must be the “me too” movement...

a-1560950898 Sep 18, 2018 07:09 AM
Scorpion and Tarantula Sightings

I have seen many scorpion “claws” dropped by bats or birds lately. Never seen that before. Climate change?

a-1560950898 Sep 17, 2018 09:52 PM
Scorpion and Tarantula Sightings

I may have posted this story on Edhat a while ago, but cannot remember why I would have . . .**********Once upon a time, about 30+ years ago, I found a tarantula in the 00 block of W. Anapamu St----right across from Crispin Leather ( for those of you who may remember that shop). I was headed to my aerobics class and saw this spider tip-toeing alongside the concrete curb. Thinking fast, I opened up my little shampoo kit bag and scooped up the spider and zipped him in for safe keeping. After class, I drove him up to Las Alturas Rd., up above Mission Ridge. There used to be a tarantula habitat up there, but, sadly, a whole slew of houses went in a few years after my tarantula rescue----so there went his home, I suppose.

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