Advertisement I thought it'd be nice if we shared our stories - I bet most of us have a lot in common. Mine: At four, I lived in a trailer in Forney, TX with my mother. I clearly remember coming out of my room one morning while she was asleep and seeing a black widow on her armchair, and being fascinated with the beautiful, glossy black body. My grandparents had the best backyard for bug safaris. There were big stepping stones leading from the back porch to the shed, and almost every day I'd go out, turn them over, and see what bugs came scrambling out - it was like Christmas. I was frequently in trouble for bringing tiny garter snakes in the house. This one time at church camp ("You fit a Bible up there?"), one of the other girls' cabins found a big wolf spider in the bathroom. Imagine ten 9-to-11-year-old girls screaming in harmony. I rescued it in an empty cheese puffs can and brought it home. I got my first spider bite when my mom came in, caught me handling it, and screamed at a pitch and volume I was previously unfamiliar with. As an adult, I was building a Web site for my job and stumbled on this picture of some nutbar holding a young H. lividum. (Although back then I didn't know it was a terrible idea, of course.) I had no idea that tarantulas came in blue, and started doing research. That's when I first read about L. violaceopes, and become fascinated with the idea of Asian rainforest spiders. I was hesitant to take responsibility for another life, and waited ten years before finally getting my first tarantula. And here we are today! I love snakes as much as I do spiders, if not more, but I'm paranoid about accidentally killing one with my ignorance. Plus, I'm a poly-science nerd, so I'm right at home with all this Latin/Greek jibber-jabber.