I have always been wary of surprise encounters with temporary visitors to the greenhouse. I have witnessed the odd snake in the greenhouse as well as various lizards and of course the multitude of resident spiders. There is even a mystery resident who has made a home in the ceiling exhaust fan ducting. Whatever it is it must have wings to have got in there from the outside in the first place and I suspect it is a bat. This evening I went into the greenhouse to make sure all was happy and to admire the flowers in the dimming light. I began to straighten out a spray of pendulous Coelogyne massengeana buds that are about to open. The spray of buds drapes over a large Phalaenopsis plant and as I straightened it out, focusing on the many flower buds, I noticed that the Phalaenopsis leaf colouration just centimetres from my hand was not green at all but a shiny black... I leaned forward to get a closer look but this time a cold shiver ran the length of my spine as I realised that I was beeing stared back at! I had never seen such a large baboon spider so close up before, not to mention right next to my hand! She was a beauty. A perfect and shiny black voluptuous specimen - a true greenhouse guardian. She had obviously been starting her evening roam or hunt or maybe my entrance startled her but she seemed quite intent on keeping a beady eye on me. She never showed any sign of aggression towards me even as I must have fumbled over her while staightening the flower spray. It suddenly made me wonder what else may be calling the greenhouse home. What on Earth is she eating in there!? I am by no means a fan of spiders but this African lady had an air of grace about her. I wonder who else I might discover in time to come? Here is a pic - enjoy.