Druids and Witches

I’ve been called a Druid and a witch by my husband. Why?

If you visit my home, you’ll find herbs hanging in the kitchen and baskets full of roots which I use in my concoctions. My shelves are stacked with bottles of mint, cherry and elderflower syrup which are homemade.

A small still to extract herbal essences sits on the china cabinet.

In my den or working place, there’s a cabinet with basic laboratory glassware; beakers, flasks,  and other fascinating objects.


A witch because I seem to be able to foretell danger or read people’s minds – so my husband says. I don’t think I can do the latter. Instead, I call it the sixth sense, intuition if you like.

Here’s an episode when my instinct butt in. When I was in my seventh month of pregnancy with my first child, we were driving up a steep country road, and in front of our car, was a tractor hauling bales of hay. My in-laws were sitting in the back, and I turned to warn my husband to brake and keep a distance from the tractor. He braked, and two seconds later a bale of hay fell right in front of us. Sheer luck?


After dinner, one evening, my daughter’s friend commented, “This place looks like the Adams Family.”

My daughter had invited him for dinner, last minute, and I certainly didn’t have the time to straighten out the house as most mortals would have, before his arrival. Besides, it’s against my principles. My thought on guests, especially last minute is if they find that my house is messy, by their standards – just because there are a few cobwebs, by all means, pick up a broom and clean up the place. Don’t touch my spiders though. My home is my castle, and I surround myself with the things I love; family, art, insect display cases, books galore, and other weird stuff


Note: No insects were mistreated or killed, they were all dead when I collected them.

Are you still with me? Or have you dozed off already?

Curious to know more about house spiders, and why everyone should have one. Keep on reading.

In the summer if there are too many cobwebs in the house, I will gently expropriate the spider by delicately picking it up barehanded, yes, that’s right, and put it outside. No matter what size. Most of them are daddy long-legs and don’t scare anyone.

I will keep a few in the bedrooms so they can catch the mosquitoes and flies. I don’t have screens on every window. These little guys are my pest control team.

If I’m lucky, a lizard will also crawl up the wall and catch the unwanted insects. When I’m unlucky, another predator could be hiding in his preferred humid environment, which is, in the shower.

Can you guess what it is? It belongs to the same family as spiders (Arachnid) because it has eight legs.

Want another hint? It has a long tail with a stinger at the tip, and his front legs can grab food. In Italy, they are not venomous. The sting is similar to that of a wasp or bee.

Don’t fret if you find one. All you have to do is scoop it up with a piece of paper and put it outdoors.

So… what is it? Here’s a pic.


Note: Anyone who intends on visiting me should advise two weeks before arrival and don’t worry, I have a mini apartment on the ground floor with screens on every window. Cobweb free. At dawn, you can admire the Roe deer as they feast on my grapes or petunias.

Do spiders hibernate? Click here to find out.

Want more information about Daddy long-legs? Click here.

If insects fascinate you, learn more here.

Author: eleanorannpeterson

As a child, I spent my summer holidays by the swamp catching tadpoles and other creepy critters or running after wild animals. I wanted to become a veterinarian when I grew up. But destiny turned my life around - I moved to Italy, where I obtained my BS in Environmental Sciences and Territorial Management. When not working in our family-run business, I write, read, play with clay, doodle, and go on scavenger hunts in the woods, followed by my six cats.

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