Wonders Just Outside the Front Door

Wonders just outside the door - a funnel web weaver spider web

Just outside the front door, a wonder awaits. A gossamer cloud floats just above the grass. The taller grass blades poke above it, like mountain peaks above a cloud covered valley.

Funnel web weaver spider’s web close view
Funnel web weaver spider web

It’s a funnel web weaver spider’s home. No human can weave such delicate lace. Imagine wearing a shawl so delicate. And it to think it comes out the butt of a spider.

If we had such silk spinning mechanisms next to our anus we could put them to use and delicately wrap our droppings in fine silk and not need to worry if a toilet was nearby. We could encase them all in fine silk along with a handle so we could dispose of them politely. Just saying.

Flight attendants might say after a long flight, “Passengers, we hope you had a pleasant flight, and please deposit your silk encasings in the appropriate receptacles as you disembark.”

Funnel web weaver web from above

I used to think that the spiders waited inside their funnels for an insect to fall inside. But they wait inside their funnels and race out at blinding speed to bite and inject venom into hapless victims. Spiders who build these webs are among the fastest spiders. The webs aren’t sticky so what do insects feel when they walk on these cloud like sheets? “Have I died and gone it heaven?” Is that their last thought?

Funnel web weaver web side view

If I was an insect, I think I’d be lured onto this shimmering cloud, if only to rest my weary feet. I suppose there are many insect parents who have warned their million or so offspring, “Now children, if it looks too good to be true, it likely is.”

Quick Results

Quick results - culled bunch compared to uncalled bunch of grapes

After thinning the grapes from some of the grape bunches, I wasn’t expecting to see a difference so quickly in the size of the grapes. But just a few weeks out and the grapes on the thinned bunches are already much larger than those on the unthinned bunches.

Pink roses

We survived our six day heat wave. It’s the first time we’ve ever experienced six days in a row of 80º days. “You poor babies,” someone living in the Midwest told me when I told them about our unprecedented heatwave. Which if you are used to real heatwaves is the truth. Still it is troubling and it seems that the Skagit Valley is destined to be California North in a few decades.

Blue hydrangea

The hydrangea are in bloom. They look like gatherings of blue butterflies. Just looking at them gives a cooling effect.

Bee on flower
Sungold tomatoes

The Sungold tomatoes are ripe for picking. These are my favorite tomatoes. They are like popping candy in your mouth and they rarely make it indoors to the dinner table. I can pick a handful of them, but by the time I walk inside, they are all gone.