This is a transition time of the year, a time of change, sometimes even spookiness. There is the ending of some things, leaves and flowers lose their vigor and color, turning papery brown or ghastly black. The pepper plant above, Capsicum annuum ‘Black Pearl’, is very spooky, especially if you were to bite into one of the fruits. Your eyes would become bloodshot and your mouth would feel like you were a circus flame swallower.
The sky can play tricks on us, showing dazzling cotton candy color displays one minute and quickly switching to thunder and lightning the next.
Our friendly garden spider has been very busy getting her chores finished up as the warm weather will be coming to an end in the near future. She had been living in her lovely home on the corner of the main house in a translucent web stretching from the eave of the roof to the bench edge that runs along the gravel path under the windows of the sunroom/greenhouse. She was out of the way of my planting and puttering and was a welcome dweller as she would catch the demon grasshoppers, wrap them tightly and dine at her leisure. But what is this lumpy brown thing? It does not look like her usual food prep wrapping job. (Warning, spider close ups to follow!)
It must be her egg case, and it is a big one. I’m not sure how I feel having this right next to the deck where we ourselves sometimes dine al fresco. One hard working garden helper is acceptable, but a kajillion of them? Possibly not. Not so close to the deck, anyway. Let us put on our thinking caps about what to do.
Overnight, typical memory loss sets in. The next morning we go out the back door with camera in hand to look for yet more flowery pictures to snap. A turn to the left takes us by the egg case. Oh yes, that. No decision had been made about what to do, but where is mama spider?
Oh, here she is. It seems that once her job was done, she decided to go on a vacation to the sunny side of the deck. This trip is problematic on several levels to the humans among us. Mrs. Arachnid has strung her new web from the roof eave down to the grill cover. Now like many of you out there in the blogdom, during the warmer months of the year the grill is the main source of meat cooking. The stove doesn’t heat the house, there is less clean up of pots and pans, and best of all I don’t have to do the cooking. We had just used the grill a couple of days ago so she is a very fast spinner.
The solution to this dilemma is to move her and her egg case to the wild part of the property behind the knot garden. We used the tool with a long handle that we refer to as the forkey deal to gently lift her from the grill web, then used one of the forkey deal prongs to gently lift the egg case from the window screen. Gingerly the tool was carried up the steps with the precious cargo to the chain link fence edge. It was easy to deposit mama and case on one of the giant poke berry plants. There should be plenty of tasty grasshoppers back there for her belly’s satisfaction and free rein for her brood once they hatch. A happy ending to a slightly scary story. I am not afraid of spiders. They don’t send chills down my spine or give me the heebie jeebies. But vast numbers of them might do just that, especially if we are enjoying a ginger ale and a hot dog on the deck at the time of their dispersal.
The black stems of this maidenhair fern, Adiantum capillus-veneris , that was dug up from the overcrowded trough garden and set in the soil along the block wall at the back of the house fit into our eerie theme. Even though mass quantities of water drenched this plant piece after placement, the leaves turned the aforementioned papery brown as seen to the left of the self sown columbine. This is a unique leaf shape and we felt it was needed to add textural interest in the little leaf wall bed. But sometimes moves such as this have a happy ending for there is a new sprout arising from the assumed dead fern.
Here we see the spread eagle wingspan of the fern, along with the dead brown leaves still attached to the black stems. Things that have been moved can survive and even thrive. Ferns, spiders and yes, bloggers.