Autumn Wariness

The weather this week has been as sunny and warm as last week was rainy and chilly. As I enjoy the beautiful weather, my mind has been with those who were in the path of the hurricanes–both Harvey and Irma. Thankfully, all my friends in those areas are doing well, although I’m amazed at the flooding and damaged in those areas. My mind is also with friends in the west who are living near wildfires. Even those not close to the actual fires are having to deal with heavy smoke. 😦

I had been planning to exercise up and down the driveway today, but I’m quite sure I’m catching the bad cold that JJ has been struggling with over the last several days. I’ve been feeling a bit unwell around the edges. I didn’t have much motivation today. Bummer.

This morning I read articles saying that “Swarms of flying bugs seen around West Michigan are creating a buzz on social media.” The swarms were also seen in Detroit, and in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York. I believe they are also the insects that I videoed swarming here in Northern Michigan. It sounds as if this is not a normal occurrence. I wonder what is causing them to swarm?

I have learned since moving to Northern Michigan that every autumn when the nights grow chilly, the wolf spiders start to crawl out onto our porch. There are not thousands of them, or hundreds, or even several. Just one here or one there. But that’s more than enough to scare me when I open the door and find a giant spider sitting on the porch. So when the days grow shorter and the nights chillier, I grow wary. I scan the porch before I open the door.

This morning I was walking down the hallway toward the door that opens into the garage on my way to feed Annie and then release the ducks and chickens from their coop when Danny told me that he wanted outside. I carefully looked through the door window at the porch. No spiders.  I opened the door and…..AHHHHHH! There was a large wolf spider–not as big as Shelob–on the threshold of the door. I slammed the door and told Danny he had to go out the living room door which opens onto the deck. For some reason, the spiders don’t lurk there. I suspect it’s because it is less sheltered than the front porch.

Hidden eggs

After I let Danny out, I went out to the coop, filled the pool, water buckets, and food dish, and opened the little doors for the ducks and chickens. I discovered a pile of eggs that a hen had hidden. There were five in all inside the inner coop. I had wondered why the number of eggs had decreased. I was unsure if the chickens were no longer laying–although it seemed early in the year for that–or if I just wasn’t finding the eggs. There’s really not a whole lot of places to conceal eggs, but the ducks and chickens seem to be extremely skilled at hiding them.

Danny joined me outside the pen and we walked together through the garage and back into the house. I grabbed my bottle of bug killer and went through the living room door and around to the front porch. I took a photo of the spider–for evidence that it had invaded my space?–and then I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed it. It started crawling toward me. I didn’t wait to see if it was going to attack or beg for mercy. I hurried back into the house through the living room door, went over to the kitchen window that looks out onto the porch, and watched the spider crawl back toward the house door.

I showed my photo to EJ before he left for work. It isn’t a very good photo, but I wasn’t exactly going to go up to the spider and tell it, “Say Cheese!” while I took a portrait. EJ said, “Why is the spider shining a light?” Of course, it was obviously eye shine from the camera flash (or something), but I imagined it holding a spider-sized flashlight while it tried to pick the lock on the door.

When EJ was getting ready to leave for work, I asked him to stomp on the spider if it was still lurking on the porch. However, it was gone when he went out. Maybe it had crawled into a dark space to die…or to plot its revenge.

I had no problem killing this spider. I only let Shelob live because she hides in her lair. She does NOT crawl onto the porch and lurk near the door. My Non-Aggression with the Spider Kingdom is that I won’t invade their turf if they don’t evade mine. The porch is my turf.

Update: It is now evening, and there is another wolf spider lurking on the porch.




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