Our Agent Martha Beaudry is known for so many things: a great Realtor, a Leasing Expert, a treasured resource by her clients, and her love of animals! She recently shared with us her journey to her new pets....a surprising pet.....just in time for Halloween!

Martha: My early formative years were spent pretty much playing and exploring in desert climates, first in Roswell, NM then in Midland, TX.  I loved life in the west.  I loved the weather, the dry air and the critters; specifically, the horned lizards and the tarantulas.  My little brother and I would hunt and collect horned lizards regularly but tarantulas we simply admired and respected…from afar.  Neither of us were ever brave enough to approach them; I’m not sure my parents were either. It wasn’t until I was about 11 that my family moved to the hot, humid, city of Houston, well, actually Kingwood, TX. 

After University, still craving the West Texas culture, I lived in San Angelo as did my brother who was stationed there with the Air Force.  While there, he caught a native tarantula and kept it in an enclosure.  It was just a big ugly brown spider.  I completely understood the attraction but not the desire to keep one.  He was in the military and during an inspection his commanding officer was startled by it and made him get rid of it.  He hadn’t given it much thought until recently and decided to start the hobby again.

Early this year, he sent me a text message announcing the arrival of a baby tarantula, called a sling, he had ordered online. At the time, I was up to my eyeballs in puppy drama and wasn’t giving much thought to his new obsession.  Then, before I knew it, he was telling me that he had four of them.    My interest was peaking but not really giving it too much thought.  Who collects a bunch of big, hairy spiders and why? Again, I understood the attraction, but I was under the impression that they needed to be handled and I just didn’t want to do that. 

During a recent text exchange, I shared with my brother my reluctance to hold one and that the thought of handling one really bothered me.  That was when he informed me that indeed, people were discouraged from handling Tarantulas at all.  Doing so causes them a great deal of stress and there’s always the risk that something could go wrong and they could get injured from a fall.  Believe it or not, they are quite delicate.  

Out of curiosity, I began googling Tarantulas for beginners and was totally blown away by the beautiful species that were available. I learned that large containers were not necessary until they reached their full size and that it actually takes a while, sometimes years, for them to become adults, depending on the species.  The more I read, the more I wanted to partake in this hobby.  I joined Facebook pages like The Tarantula Collective and The Tarantula Community where I discovered thousands of Tarantula enthusiasts; some were brand new to the hobby like me.  I also discovered so many different species I could work my way up to if I wanted to begin collecting more. 

It didn’t take long and I found myself ordering my first slings:  a C. Cyaneopubescens (Green Bottle Blue) and a B. Albopilosum (Nicaraguan Curly Hair).  Both are barely an inch from the tip of the front legs to the tip of the back legs and look nothing like their adult selves.  In addition, their personalities are completely different.  The curly haired is quite elusive and stays burrowed beneath the soil; I only know it’s alive because it continues to move soil around in its enclosure.  Once it reaches about 3 inches, I’ll see more of it and maybe even be able to determine its sex as well.  The Green bottle has built a web within some moss and hangs out there most of the time.  This one promises to be a fast-growing Tarantula.  I’m waiting for both of them to molt, a sign that tells me we are ok and on our way to healthy growth. 

If I succeed at keeping these guys alive and well, I would like to add a Caribena (Avicularia) Versicolor (Antilles Pink Toe) to my collection.  And if I get really daring and confident, perhaps an Old World Tarantula known as H. Gabonensis (Gabon Blue Dwarf Baboon).  We’ll see how things go.  And then, of course, there’s the T. Seledonia (Brazilian Jewel) that is considered the holy grail of Tarantulas.  Everyone wants that one as part of their collection; who wouldn’t? It is absolutely stunning and slings start at a whopping $500!

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