Hi everyone,

Yesterday was a beautiful, hot July day. Sandy and I spent the morning working in the yard and then got in the pool to cool off. Our pool is small and shallow but it does the trick. We spend most of the time floating or walking back and forth as we talk. Above us there are usually a few dragonflies on patrol for small flying insects. Higher up, maybe fifty feet or more, swallows dart and swoop across the patch of sky surrounded by our trees, chasing after insects that escape the dragonflies. Now and then I rescue a bee or moth or other tiny creature that has fallen into the water. I also keep an eye out for the elusive hummingbird that visits our feeder and flowers on rare occasions. Wasps are drinking most of the sugar-water I prepare for the feeder.

Yesterday I saved an ant and a small beetle that were lucky enough to fall in while I was there. When you stand in the “deep” end of our pool, you are at eye level with the patio and you see all sorts of activities that normally go unnoticed. Yesterday I saw an ant dragging a small, dead spider. Another ant appeared to be running on tiptoe across the hot stones until it came to a vine drooping over the side of a potted plant and ran up it for a few seconds as if to let its feet cool. Then down it went and ran on about its ant business.

I noticed a rather large spider that had also fallen in the pool and was scooting around looking for a way out. It was aggressive and at one point I came too close and it made a dash across two feet of water straight at me. For a minute I lost track of it but then noticed it on my hand. I shook it off and went back to watching it. At last it discovered the garden hose that was dangling over the side of the pool and ran up it to safety. I didn’t see where it went.

A while later, I was sitting inside in a chair by the door when Sandy went back outside. When the door opened, the spider sprinted into the room and made a dash across the carpet. That, unfortunately for the spider, was when the trouble started. Its story didn’t end well. Altogether an exciting day filled with wonders if one takes one’s excitement in watching small things.