Don't look under the hard hat

One morning, my co-worker picked up a hard hat off a chair in the site office trailer. This would normally have been a perfectly normal thing but on this day, there was a tarantula hiding in the cozy, dark, and air-conditioned cool place it had found overnight.

After a bit of surprised dancing, the tarantula was left alone. They're pretty mellow and not dangerous, and besides, we had to get to work outside in the hot.

A while later when we went back into the office, the tarantula was on the ceiling. With a hard hat minus its harness, we got the tarantula into the hard hat to put it outside. After, of course, my co-worker asked for a photo of himself with the tarantula.

The tarantulas, as scary as they look, weren't the scary ones in that area. It was the sort of place where you banged your boots around a few times before putting them on in the morning to make sure nothing had taken refuge inside.

I never had anything inside my boots, but one morning I did wake up to a scorpion on my pants.

Thawing sweets

Here's a thing that I didn't even know was a thing to wonder about:

You know the sugar maple, which produces the raw material for maple syrup by dripping sap into a bucket in the spring. Well, it turns out that it's not only a case of the sugar maple's sap being particularly sweet and thus well suited for this use. The sugar maple, along with a couple of other trees, are the only ones which drip their sap out in a way that can be usefully collected, and it is also particularly sweet.

The question, or rather questions, are:

Why only a few types of tree?

Why does this only happen during spring thaw, in certain temperature conditions?

How does this happen at all?

Some mathematicians from SFU on the west coast decided to calculate this east coast phenomenon.