Posts Tagged ‘black widow spider’

Spring Garden, Black Widow, and Beautiful Weather!

June 7, 2012

Spring Garden with overgrown tomatoes….

I don’t have a lot of space to garden.  This property is only 1/4 of an acre, the usual of old Atlanta (pre WWII ) lots.  But even a fourth of an acre can be too much  soil to cultivate.

Twenty years ago we sectioned off the property: Front and more Formal garden, (the residence of the cats…) a back yard  dedicated to our various dogs,  a further 50 x 50 foot area for whatever ….  Recently we got rid of  ‘stuff’ (motorcycles, sports cars, etc…things that were ailing ) planted grass there and this year…for the first year in many, we have a full, lush lawn where the dogs have controlled for too many years.  That grass is my husband’s delight as he spends many nights out there raking, fertilizing, reseeding and mowing that turf.  You CAN have a lawn with dogs, it’s just a constant task of cleaning after them and reseeding where they dig up.  And that we have an eight month old puppy doesn’t help much.  Daphne was a rescue from the expressway when she and her sister were left, at three months old, on a ramp by some devil, and she is gorgeous.  She’s chocolate like a lab with the undercoat of a German Shorthaired pointer. She has green eyes. Why would anyone do such a thing is beyond me.



The pup is having

A good run at new life.

She gleams in the morning sun

Her sturdy lab/pointer form

Delighting in chasing the puzzled hens.


They, four times her size

Scatter, cluck and plan revenge

At the bottom of the garden.


This means nothing to her.

She charges, barks , thinking

They are wind-up toys for her chewing.


It will take some painful experience,

A few gaffing-by-spurs

A fury of taloned feet

The pummel of hell-fire wings

Before she learns her place

In this Peaceable Kingdom.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2012

In all these years, I have never seen a Black Widow Spider, but there one was, under the stone bench I sit on to wash down the dogs.  My husband moved the bench, called me over, and wow…they are much bigger than I imagined.  Shiny black, with a red pattern on her belly.  She was clutching a sack of eggs….and husband decided that it would be best for her and kin to sail through the air to neighbor’s deserted property. She landed in the grass, so my husband said.  Let her reproduce over there.

The weather has been amazing this spring.  Usually we re racked by storms, dangerous thunderstorms, uprooted trees, heavy winds, but this year??? It’s a cool spring with the temps barely reaching the 80’s.  The nights are so cool we have to sleep with quilts still.  Last year we had 4 months of 90 and over temps, and so far….nothing like that hell.

I wandered out to my garden today, just to ‘look-see’.  I’m not a great gardener, and about 20 years ago we closed off the side driveway for a garden and an area to sunbathe.  This year I planted another rose garden there, taking up about 6×6 feet of vegetable space, but it seems the few crops we plant are doing ok.  I raised some tomato seed given by my neighbor a few years ago.  We had no idea what ‘kind’ of tomato seed, but it produced a strange, tobacco-leafed plant that grew out of the tomato cages, flopped over and started again towards the sky.  We think now what we had were “Brandywine” seed, and this year I found the seed again and planted about 30 tomatoes….I kept about 20 and gave the rest away. Too many for my small garden.  I have gone out there in rain and wind and watched them grow over the past few months, amazed at their vigor:  I  overfertilized with too much chicken manure and had to replace a few burned plants…but they got their feet under them and started to grow.  This pix below is of one that has caught my eye: it’s so big that I can’t get my hand around the bottom, but still green.  The plants are loaded with fruit, all green right now, but when they are ready to eat, there are going to be too many of them at the same time.  I forsee a lot of canning this summer.

Very large Brandywine tomato

And fried green tomatoes! I planted some pumpkins, not knowing the claiming of territory pumpkins do. They are that particular French pumpkin, “Rouge vif D’Etampes”, nicknamed “Cinderella” because they look like her carriage: squashed slightly in the middle.  Last year I bought one at Whole Foods, and made two pies with them.  They were incredible, sweet and beautiful to look at before I used them.  I saved the seeds, and planted about 4 pumpkins….one has trailed out the fence to my neighbor, where it sits in the shade growing big.  He can have that one.  I post a shot of another growing on what was supposed to be my cucumber lattice, but the pumpkins have taken over ….how this pumpkin is going to make it to the ground to grow I don’t know: it’s suspended about 4 feet from the soil. Seems happy, though.

(That picture didn’t post in the right place…it’s that yellow, globe that sits at the top of this entry.)

I am supposed to be working on a collection of short stories for publication this fall.  It is hard to sit inside and write, rewrite mostly, and do the necessary work for another book.  I would rather be outside, digging in the soil, and I have clutched in my hand right now a packet of parsnips.  They are a lovely vegetable, not eaten enough here.  So….I am heading outside, and going to till up the little space that the pumpkins have left me for another vegetable.  Later, I might take some papers out and flop on the rotting wicker chaise lounge. Reading is possible until the sun gets hot overhead.

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