Weaving a Web of Wonder

As I wandered around the front yard this evening, pulling weeds, deadheading flowers, and checking on the bird bath I nearly walked right into a gorgeous web stretched from the live oak to the azalea bush hedge.  It was head high for me…so a good 5 1/2 feet from the ground and extending upward several feet higher.  A beautiful spider dangled beneath it, lowering herself to give me a close once over.  Her body looked like it had been sprayed with mercury, the long slender legs striped with vibrant yellow.  I apologized for disturbing her work, ducked under the web and continued over to the hostas.

Returning to the house, I made certain I was well clear of her intricate and beautifully woven web…until I felt the whisper brush of silk against my skin and realized in watching her, I had touched another web.  Another beautiful black and yellow orb weaver (Argiope aurantia) also wove its    delicate web from the opposite side of the oak to the azaleas surrounding the next tree.  I only brushed a couple of filaments and the spider swiftly scurried down to repair the damage.

I watched as these gorgeous females tirelessly created their artistry in silk.  Here they will lay their eggs and, in just a few short weeks, they will be gone… their life’s work completed.  But for this moment, the beauty of their creation becomes eternal.  And I am humbled to have been present to see its creation.

Road Bath

As I may have mentioned a few times this month… it has been hot. And, for the most part, dry.  A hard time for wild critters.  I keep the garden and flower beds watered, not only for the plants, but for the toads, skinks, anoles, lizards, and snakes who live there.  I have two bird baths and I keep them full and a kiddie pool out back that always has water in it (admittedly as much for the dogs as the critters, but I have seen ravens and even turkey vultures stop by for a drink.

Today I got a new visitor.  It rained, hard, and then the sun came out, and the temperatures soared.  My street in front of my driveway floods.  Always. I was headed out to the curb to shove more recycling into the can when I noticed a hawk playing in the flooded street.  It had a sip, flapped and splashed and had a wonderful time.  I moved quietly closer, hoping to get a good look before it flew away.  It didn’t fly away.  Instead it turned and stared at me with bright scarlet eyes, walked a little closer and then resumed its bath.

Oh how I WISH I owned a camera!  Or even a cell phone that would take pictures!

I moved a little closer and the hawk paused to consider if this was too close. Made a single hop, and went back to splashing in the deep water. It would stop, peer at me with those wondrous red eyes, then stride about for a bit, flap, shake….and return to its play.

I am fairly certain it was a Cooper’s Hawk… lots of them in this area… and it certainly wasn’t concerned about my presence.  Finally after a good 15 minutes or so, it hopped (being no doubt too wet to fly) out of the puddle and I encouraged it to go up into my yard rather than sit in the road.  Plenty of shade and cover and a lot safer.  The hawk obliged by hopping and striding into the front yard.  A few minutes later it flew up into the oak tree and settled in for a good preening.

Welcome to the neighborhood.  Feel free to drop in any time for a bath.

RAIN!

it finally happened… the heat wave broke at last with a DELUGE of Biblical proportion last night followed by more abrupt heavy but short downpours today.  The temperatures are down to a very comfortable 98 and the breeze coming in before the storms is wonderful!

I drove around some today…looking at houses. Trying to wrap my mind and emotions around the idea of selling my much loved little house on the island and getting a regular house half an hour or more inland.  I don’t want to move off the island.  I don’t want to live inland.  I like it where I am.  I love the ocean breezes and the smell of pluff mud along the inlets or when I’m driving.  I love that I can have palm trees and never worry about a cold snap/freeze.  Love my lemon tree and my fig tree.  My enormous magnolia and all my live oaks.

Sure I can get the oaks and the magnolia further away from the beach.  I just don’t want to.  

But I need to.  At least I have finally made my peace with that half.  I need to do this the way the gardens needed that rain.  All the watering I was providing just wasn’t enough.  They needed it to rain….and soak them down to the deepest levels of their being.

My kids need that now.  More than I need my ocean… well, maybe not, LOL.  But they are young and this is their time and I need to provide what they need.  Like that rain.  To fill them to the core of their being and help them grow.

So I looked.  Nothing feels right.  Nothing feels like ‘home’.  I will figure out how to deal with that and pick the place that feels like home to them.  And maybe, someday, when they are grown… I will find my home once more.  And Red Dog and I will run the beach once more.

But for now…. we have RAIN!  Let the dancing commence.

Remembering…

Today is David’s birthday.  Yesterday was Father’s Day.  Those two dates always went together…and with nothing to celebrate either day the weekend seemed oddly empty.

SO…. we will do other things.  The heat wave continues and the pressure front seems momentarily locked in place here in the Lowcountry so the triple digits continue.  Of course, I am warped enough to be loving it.  Every minute of it.

Today is also:  SUMMER SOLSTICE!!!  hooray!  Now that is a lovely day to celebrate because it marks the beginning of my favorite of all seasons:  SUMMER!  Summer Solstice

In celebration of which….and because I totally forgot to post a Fantasy Friday picture… Ta da!  I give you SUMMER  

Where did this week go?

Today I had appointments.  Sunday is Father’s Day.  I have quickly lost track of the entire month of June.

Sunday is not sad so much any more…the kids and I are adjusting…but the old habits keep creeping back up on me.  I go to the store and catch myself trying to decide what to make David for Father’s Day brunch.  The kids saying how much they felt they ‘needed’ to make western ribs this weekend…we don’t even eat red meat any more…but because it was their Dad’s favorite.  He loved to grill.  Well, no.  He loved to have grilled food, LOL.  He started the grill and then the rest was mine.  Which was totally the correct move because he was an impatient chef and cooked before the fire was ready.

No ribs this weekend.  No lemon meringue pie or a fancy brunch.

It seems empty somehow without those things.  But he is remembered this weekend.  And missed.

Dog days of Summer

and here we even have rabbit days, LOL!

The dogs mostly sleep.  A lot.  In the mornings they go out and lay in the sunshine before the heat rolls in like a blanket.  In the triple digits even the animals prefer the shade.  I water endlessly, never enough rain to counter the heat.  Bobbie Bunny has taken to escaping and leaving the safety of the house to stretch out under the wisteria in the deep, cool shade of the magnolia tree.  I admit, it is a lovely spot.  And well protected from aerial predators (we have hawks, eagles, and owls) but I would prefer she didn’t make these adventurous forays into the wild.  Thankfully the dogs do a fine job of guarding her, keeping vigil all around the wisteria which forms a sweeping dome under which she munches fresh clover and ‘chills’ in the shade.

Ah, the life of a spoiled house rabbit ❤

Another week…

another busy one.  Got to see my littles…I miss them so much.  Now clean like crazy all weekend so the house is ready on Monday.  Spud is doing his part.  Lawn needs mowed but it is too hot with these temperatures to stress the grass like that or I’ll just have a dead, yellow lawn the rest of the summer.  Waiting for rain.

And while we wait…. FANTASY FRIDAY is here!  This is a real place in Alaska, but it is the light through the trees and the mystery of the path that leads me on flights of fantasy.  Where does it lead you?