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Sunday, May 09, 2004

The Horror! The Horror! 

Okay, so Brood X is hardly something that would give Kurtz nightmares, but we did encounter our first of the beasties this weekend. On Saturday, I found a few cicada shells on spiderwort, crape myrtle, and other assorted plants in the yard. On Sunday, Evelin found the first one caught in the act of breaking out of the old shell. (She and I both decline to eat it.)

We actually did a lot of yard work this weekend, tons of weeding, spreading 15 bags of mulch (3 cubic yards per bag), mowing, etc. It's insane how quickly the grass/ogräs is growing. I got at least five very full bags of clippings to add to the compost heap.

But things do look better. Evelin cut out a little trench between the lawn and the lobelia that edges much of the flowerbeds in the back, giving someplace to set up a mulch barrier between the beds and the grass/ogräs. I also tied down the daffodils (the flowers are spent and it made things easier to mulch around and it looked tidier to have the leaves bunched up and folded over).

We also got a bit of a surprise by all the different spiders in our yard. I guess it's a good thing that we have so many insects (not to mention the birds, squirrels, occasional cats, and whatever it is (probably a raccoon) that seems to keep pooping on the edge of the pond), but I must have seen a dozen very different types of spiders in the yard today, including one that had interesting blue fangs. I think it was a type of wolf spider, but I can't find an online spider identification site that's set up for easy searches.

[UPDATE: The blue-fanged spider was probably a male Daring Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax).]

When I was a kid, I had a whole series of bird, fish, insect, rock, spider, etc., identification guides. It might be worth trying to track down some similar field guides again.

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