Uh, you missed one.

Day 5

Hi everyone,

Great artists sometimes are forced to forgo the joy of work in order to record for posterity the labors of others. For example:


The light show

Hi everyone,

We have an outdoor security light that is motion activated. For the last few days and nights it has been stuck on so we have light all day and all night. I need to try to fix it but in the meantime I’m enjoying the nightly show. An orb spider has taken advantage of the situation by building its web between a nearby brick wall and a cherry tree only a few feet from the night light and the small insects attracted to it. That’s one full little spider.

And over on our living room window last night another small carnivore was having a wonderful time too. It found a web across the glass and was busily crawling around in it snapping up whatever bugs it could find as others continued to get stuck on what was left of the sticky web.

When I finally get that night light turned off, I’ll probably get hate mail from the orb spider and the mantis.

Sometimes it takes so little to make me happy!

The midge hunter

Hi everyone,

Standing in the pool yesterday a slight movement under a chair caught my eye. I got as close as I could and made out a spider the size of a speck of lint busily weaving a web. I’ve never seen anything like it. Here’s the picture but you can’t see the minute weaver at work. As I watched, it ran out its attachment lines to form the basic foundation. Then it began going around the center in quick circles to tie it all together.

I wondered what kind of prey such a tiny creature could manage and decided it might handle a midge. The midges are beginning to show up now and many are attracted to the pool. I’ve had my first bite of the season. You go, little thing. We need you on that wall!

Lazy morning, lazy day

Hi everyone,

I slept in this morning. I do love an occasional lazy weekend morning! Sandy is watching her regular Sunday morning news show. I’ll go out for the paper in the driveway after a while. The coffee tastes good. Nothing special on the day’s agenda until this evening when we’ll go to Robin and Tim’s for dinner. We spent an hour in the pool yesterday and will probably get in again today. Might have a Bloody Mary.

Last night I received a wonderful poem from Wyatt Townley for the book we’re working on. Neither of us knows if there’s a publisher out there for this particular project but we’re having a good time anyway and of course Wyatt is a terrific poet.

Next week I have some submissions going to committee at a couple of places so that’s something to look forward to. Haven’t heard anything yet about two that went to committee last week at a different publisher so I don’t know if that’s good news or bad. Guess I’ll find out before long.

Have a good long weekend everyone.


Paradise has a crack in it

Hi everyone,

Into every home owner’s life some problems must enter now and then. At the moment, our place needs attention. When a tree cutter came out to remove the hackberry that fell in our back yard, his heavy equipment ruptured a buried pipe, probably part of the sprinkler system. Now the ground bleeds water so I’ve called our sprinkler folks to come find and repair the leak.

Mortar in our chimney has decayed in spots so that a heavy rain with wind from a certain direction presents us with water on the hearth. A mason is here with scaffolding onto the roof and is fixing the problem. When he finishes, we have a roofer standing by to replace several places where sun has found its way among shingles and destroyed the underlying felt.

Meanwhile, our pool has developed a problem caused by the loss of casing around the heating element in the furnace, exposing copper that is chemically binding with free chlorine to cause high acidity. We have someone coming out to replace the element and exchange the silica sand in the filtering tank with new.

The in-pool vacuum device can’t work anymore because somewhere under the house the original pipe transporting water from the filtering system to the pool has malfunctioned. For two or three years we’ve relied on an electric robot you have to plug into an outdoor outlet and drop into the water. We’re on our third one and each has been worse than the one prior. I have a plumber coming out to crawl around under the house to search for the problem pipe and fix it so we can go back to the original system.

Our gorgeous cherry tree in the front yard has been dying for two years and we’re near the time when we’ll have to take it out and replace it. It has been one of the prettiest trees I’ve ever seen when it blooms in spring. And remember our old timer globe locust near the driveway? I’ve shown you pictures before and have written about it several times but here it is again. Lately the gallant old gent has been leaning more than ever toward our neighbor’s yard and it’s a matter of time, I think, before we’ll be saying goodbye to it too.

Seems like a lot of stuff happening at once, but they’re all fixable and the sooner we get them behind us the better, he sighed manfully.