Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Signage

Whenever spring arrives here the air changes, a certain type of shrub blooms for a couple of weeks, and of course the spiders come back to set up house:



I like the spiders. I know most people find them creepy, but their webs are beautiful and I think of them as Nature's exterminators. They also eat most of the mosquitos that will be arriving between now and summer, never a bad thing.

Every spring I also haul out a UFO (unfinished object) quilt project and try to finish it, and sometimes when I dig through my sewing stuff I find something that I forgot I didn't finish. I have to wait for my new glasses to come in, but when they do I've decided I'm going to finally finish Snow here, who has been waiting for a couple years now for me to get on with it:



Spring also often brings some weird new critter trying to invade our property. Most of the time it's a bug (one memorable year we discovered the porch was infested with black widows) but 2015 appears to be the year of the tussock moth catepillar:



I've never seen these around here before this year, and some quick research revealed that contact with this catepillar's hairs can cause allergic skin reactions. Our kid is particularly sensitive to any kind of insect venom, so we are removing them from close proximity to the house. We've also spotted several buck moth catepillars, with whom any contact inflicts a horrible welt that hurts for days (and I can personally attest to it being worse than a burn from a hot iron) so we're disposing of them without any regrets whatsoever.

What surprises has spring brought to your corner of the planet? Let us know in comments.

7 comments:

  1. An owl has moved into an old mud swallow nest on my front porch. I try to get photos, but she's not cooperating.

    I suspect I won't have any new muddy nests this year, but the owl is making a bigger mess than the swallows ever did. She's too fascinating to discourage, though. :-)

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    1. Having an owl nest on your property is a very good thing -- they eat all kinds of rodents and other pests you don't want around. Quite a few of the farmers in my neighborhood build owl boxes hoping to attract them. :)

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  2. Weirdly cool caterpillars...though not the poisonous-stinging-irritation part.
    The birds--blue jay and finch--use my coconut liner hanging baskets as their personal Home Depot. One day I'm waiting patiently to plant new flowers and the next, they've decimated the baskets, leaving gaping holes and long, dangling shreds of coconut fiber. I used to get cranky...now I just go buy new liners and imagine the baby birds are cozy in their nests.

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    1. We finally got sweet potato vines in hanging baskets for the front porch this year; I love how they look when they grow long. Hopefully the mourning doves won't think I'm doing it to give them new spots to nest ala five years ago. :)

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  3. Since we've moved to a new area with a few more acres, we have discovered the joys (or not) of having sandhill cranes in our yard along with about 50 wild turkeys that seem to pop out of the ground like Whack-a-Moles do, twice a day. Both birds arrive every spring and stay until the first snow. They trudge to and fro and after an hour or two, just disappear. The sandhill cranes are beautiful to watch, very graceful but holy crow, are they loud! A cross between a turkey and a crow, they make a terrible noise and when you get a dozen together, the cacophony is almost overwhelming! But it's a small blessing in an otherwise hard to cope with move (you know why) so I'll take anything that makes me smile.

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    1. The cranes here are generally a peaceful pair who avoid humans, and we try to do the same (their cries are ear-shattering at times, though. I call them baby teradactyls.) Speaking of shattering, one word of advice -- don't park or put anything reflective where they tend to go. They will attack their reflections sometimes because they think it's another bird. On a few occasions they've been known to smash car or house windows with those strong bills of theirs while reflection-attacking.

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  4. Your needlework is gorgeous!

    I was left speechless when a snake (that I had stepped on accidentally) slithered up a tree. I didn't think snakes in Texas did that. Now I'll be looking over my head too when I'm in the woods. Always something!

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