Last Saturday, Brian was weed eating, and found this, um, lovely creature under the rosebush in our backyard – about 10 feet from the back door! Brian didn’t see the snake right away but the Weed Eater did! Notice Brian has on snake boots. He always wears those in the woods because we have rattlesnakes here (as well as other poisonous varieties).
A couple of hours later,, our daughter, son-in-law, and two grandbabies arrived to spend the weekend with us. They’ve been so busy that they hadn’t been here in about six months. Jack (age 4) was sooooo excited to pick some of the corn he’d planted here months ago. Mackenzie was equally excited about the cherry tomatoes she’d planted, and the tiny pumpkins that were growing in our compost pile.
They picked yard long Chinese red beans, tomatoes, pumpkins, butternut squash, corn, okra, green beans, parsnips, and carrots. Later that night, the guys needed beets as well so Jack, Mackenzie and I headed back out to the garden for some of those, too. We had so much fun!!
We also belatedly celebrated Mackenzie’s birthday since we had to miss her party because of illness:
We got her a really loud, obnoxious toy. It’s a grabber machine that plays extremely annoying carnival music. Her parents were NOT pleased. Ha ha ha!!
We got to play and laugh all weekend and Brian and our son-in-law used the veggies the kiddos harvested from the garden to make individual venison pies with puff pastries. Those were AWESOME!!
Just before dinner, this happened! Look how happy those nature-loving kiddos are! 🙂
That night, after a HUGE storm rolled through, we sat on the back porch, and watched our favorite spider (a female Orb Weaver who we named “It”) weave her nightly web. We’d been watching her nightly for a month and I’d grown very attached to her.
During the day, she would stay in a little cocoon. Can you see it in the picture below?
At night, she’d come out, spin her web, eat until dawn, and then eat the entire web, and go back into her cocoon.
That night, after she finished spinning her web, we turned on the spotlight to attract insects and she went to work hunting. The spotlight brought out two bats as well. They would zoom by the spotlight, grabbing whatever flying bugs they could. Over and over, back and forth, and even some loop-dee-loops in the middle! Between It and the bats, the kids were mesmerized, and chattering gleefully until bedtime, and they never once asked for any electronics.
That night, we noticed another spider getting close to It’s web. We got a picture of him and loaded into our insect app.
It was a male Orb Weaver. And, he was on the move!! We watched him inch closer and closer until he was ON her web. She didn’t try to get him off. Unfortunately, it got too late and we had to get up early the next morning for church.
The next day, “It” was back in her cocoon and the male was gone. We figure she had her way with him, and she ate him (GULP!). They do that, along with many other spider species. Did you know that’s called Sexual Cannibalism? Yeah, I googled it.
Anyway, the next night, It came out and ran only one line of web with two supporting lines. That was it. It was very odd behavior. She didn’t catch anything with just that, of course. And, the following morning, she was gone. At first, I thought the bats got her. However, her web was gone so she’d survived the night, and ate her tiny little leftover web. I then reasoned that she got herself knocked up, and headed to a better, more sheltered location…one that’s not in front of squealing toddlers…and bats flying too close!
We miss It (me more, apparently, than anybody else – I still keep checking to see if she’s returned!!) but we still turn on the light each night for the bats. We haven’t had many lightning bugs this year so we’re glad we have a bat show! Brian built a bat house for me early in the Spring. I’m not sure if that’s where the bats live. However, when Brian was in the woods yesterday morning, he found a small cave down there. So, maybe that’s where they are spending their days. Regardless, we are thrilled to be sharing our property with them. 🙂
Oh, I almost forgot! We DID make it to church on time the next morning. Jack and Mackenzie went to the front of the sanctuary for the children’s service. When this picture was taken, it appeared that Mackenzie was going to crawl through the railing, and head for the Communion grape juice. All the family members in our pew were frozen with their mouths open, wondering what was going to happen next. Luckily, the children’s service ended right after I took this picture so we could get her back to the pew. Shwew!!!
- The Monster Hiding in Our Garden…
- Our First Corn Field!
- What in the WORLD Happened to The Pot?!
- Teensy Tiny Baby Praying Mantises!
- FUTURE FRIES!! YUM!!!
- Do-over on the Lettuce!!
Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
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