date: sunday, march 22nd, 2020
time spent in isolation: 3 1/2 days
how long it has felt: not very long actually, i have been super productive
supplies: holding up – plenty of toilet roll, endless chocolate, but i do need more candles
mood: hydrated, calm, rested
and at the same time…
an incredible thing happened yesterday.
after three weeks of fasting and hovering close to her tank warmer, my little furry child has finally moulted. (shed her exoskeleton.)
in the thirteen years that chupacabra has been a part of my life, i have only seen this process a handful of times… and it shakes me to my core every single time.
the wonderment of the natural world.
the development and experiences of non-human animals.
life on this planet doesn’t revolve around us.
interrupting a moult or attempting to “help” or touch a tarantula during this time, could result in their death. the act of moulting is highly laborious, and even looks like it could be painful, but there’s not much you can do except keep their habitat warm and damp, and watch. and be fascinated.
and take photos / videos as long as it is not disturbing to them.
i took a lot of photos.
like the proud mother that i am.
here is a video (sped up) so you can see what tarantulas do in the final stages of shedding their “skin”. the importance of stretching is not limited to the human world.
in the same way that my mother held onto my baby teeth and severed umbilical cord, i always keep chupa’s moulted exoskeletons. the last few times, i have removed them quickly – as soon as it was safe to do so. when they are “fresh” and still quite flexible, you can position the appendages in whatever way you’d like.
after a day or so, the exoskeleton dries, and you are left with a beautiful reminder of this miraculous event. i recommend framing them, placing them lovingly in display cabinets, or utilising them in the process of trying to break a friend or family member’s irrational fear of spiders.
“spinnerets are flexible, tube-like structures from which the spider exudes it’s silk. the tip of each spinneret is called the spinning field. each spinning field is covered by as many as 100 spinning tubes through which silk is exuded. as the silk is pulled out of the spinnerets, the shear force causes proteins in the silk to crystallise, transforming it from a liquid to a solid thread.”
breaking fears: the similarities in appearance yet knowing this is not a tarantula can be a great tool in soothing someone’s nerves and getting them to open up to the idea that arachnids are deeply misunderstood, and in chupacabra’s case, very gentle creatures.
in this life (my life) boredom is never really an option.
there is a possibility that london may go on lockdown soon, but truth to be told, i am looking forward to a lot of time spent at home…
making music and listening to it.
taking care of my plants.
yoga in the tiny area between my bed and my window.
watching chupa settle into her new skin.
and feeling myself settle back into mine.