Because we are so speciesist and reserve our fondest feelings for only the cutest creatures, we will probably never in Canberra see a Huntsman Spider Survey along the lines of the COG Gang-gang Survey.
The latter survey is under way and is often discussed in this column and, as we can see from Geoffrey Dabb's observations (pictured), is even being discussed by the gang-gangs themselves.
Yet here in Canberra the huntsman spiders are, like the gang-gangs, our close neighbours and are as little scientifically studied and as mysterious as the cockatoos.
And in Canberra at this time of the year we must brace ourselves, the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife advises, for an increase in our encounters with these eight-legged Canberrans.
On to the foundation's advice in a moment, but first the reflection that the first described meeting of a white human with a huntsman, here in huntsmanistan where Canberra has arisen, is the one in John Lhotsky's A journey from Sydney to the Australian Alps, Undertaken in the Months of January, February and March, 1834.
Lhotsky was a learned, enthusiastic observer of plants and creatures and a very fine writer. His descriptions of the six-day spell he spent in early 1834 based at Limestone Cottage, close to the platypus-rich Limestone River (the Molonglo) at today's Duntroon are pricelessly descriptive of what this divine spot was like long before our metropolis arose. Climate watchers, too, will be interested in his detailed observations of the weather of the summer of 1834. He recorded 129 degrees Fahrenheit at 3pm on January 30 at the cottage, when ''My dogs were mere skeletons, and came every moment to me with their tongues hanging out, imploring relief from the dreadful crisis''.
Then on February 3, ''Towards midnight a dreadful storm of wind and rain was raging, which frightened the large spiders and triantelopes [another word for big spiders] which were among the beams of the roof, and drove them into the room. I was lying in my bed observing through the window the fine effects of the lightning playing when one of the above-named gentry, as large as a child's fist, fell without ceremony upon my face. I could not forbear whistling between my teeth, The joys of travellers!''
The huntsman spiders (and, horror!, the triantelopes too) are about to be more conspicuous in Canberra, the foundation fancies.
''As the weather begins to cool off slightly, you'll spend more time in your home and car.
''The huntsman spiders are also starting to spend more time indoors as they hunt for insects before these insects, the spiders' food, start to hibernate. As a result, you'll soon start to notice the often unloved huntsman spider in cracks and crevices or running across the dashboard of your car. But don't panic! The huntsman spider is actually your buddy, and cannot seriously hurt you.
''In the ACT at the moment, keep an eye out for the Sydney huntsman, which has a distinctive black stripe on its abdomen, and the Murray banded huntsman [which of these was it, do you think, that fell on poor Lhotsky's 's face?], which has black and pale grey stripes on its legs.''
Susanna Bradshaw, chief executive of the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife, sympathises over the shocks the spiders can give us, ''probably a result of the great sizes they can grow to - up to 15 centimetres [about the size of a child's fist] in some species, and the way they can move very fast''.
She counsels that when you feel the need to move a huntsman along you shouldn't do it with a broom because the spider may well sprint towards you up the broom's handle.
Instead, find a nice big shallow container, plonk it over the spider and slide a piece of sturdy card under the container. Then just carry it away.
Yes, I can remember doing this when my children were little. One learnt to lie that one hadn't just emptied it out into our garden (''Daddy! It'll come straight back in, looking for revenge!'') but had taken it to Queanbeyan.
Making huntsman spiders our buddies will be more than most Canberrans can manage, but the foundation asks us to mention that it runs Backyard Buddies, a free program, encouraging us to make our backyards inviting and safe for native animals, including spiders: backyardbuddies.net.au
On the wall of a vault beneath Old Parliament House, now the Museum of Australian Democracy, there is written this enigmatic, even haunting sentiment.
What can it mean? Did you write it? What were you saying? Have you since learnt how to spell Sebastopol? Among a select few vault visitors it has been known of for ages. There's speculation it might have been done about 1988 as the old House was abandoned for the new. But there's new interest in it because it has gripped the poetic imagination of a young poet, Mitchell Welch, who was a summer scholar at the museum. His museum blog essay about it, The unknown poet, room L74, is sensitive and poetic. Now museum wonders if there is anyone out there in this column's teeming and worldwide readership who can shed some light on the words' authorship and meaning.
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