May Days…and Nights

During the week, I get up when EJ does. While he gets ready for work, I feed Hannah, who gobbles down her food in a flash. Then I take her outside to “do her business.” After that, I feed in the inside cats and continue into the garage to feed the outside cats. I go through the garage back door to care for the ducks and chickens, which involves filling the drinking buckets and the duck pool, opening the small duck and chicken doors, and making sure they all have food.

This is where the HUGE wolf spider was lurking.

Thursday morning I fed Hannah and took her outside as usual. As we stepped back on the porch to go into the house, I spotted a HUGE wolf spider at the corner of the door. It was not as big as Shelob, the monster I discovered in our back yard last summer, but it was still very big. I obviously had walked over it on my way outside with Hannah [shudder], but I was not going to walk over it now that I knew it was there. If I opened the door, it could easily drop into the house. I pulled Hannah over to the deck and I knocked on the door opening into the living room. I had neglected to take my keys with me. EJ let me in, and I explained about the HUGE wolf spider. He did not appreciate the horror of it. I grabbed my can of Raid spider killer, which was almost empty, and sprayed and sprayed it until it was dead.

A necessity for summer!

Later in the day I went to get groceries at our local grocery store. I made sure to find the aisle of death where all the creepy crawly sprays are. I was horrified that there was no spider spray on the shelf, but fortunately an employee was filling empty shelves with new supplies and she had a box full of spider spray. Whew. I also bought a can of ant spray because sometimes ants get the house. I told the employee that NOW I am ready for warm weather!

Esther and Cuddles

I have been noticing that our male duck, Cuddles, doesn’t seem to be acting like his old self. He had really loved Esther, so I wonder if he is still grieving her death a month or so ago. We got Esther from EJ’s sister. She was an older duck who was lame. I’m sure she died of old age. Once we brought her home, Cuddles had eyes only for her and spent all his time with her. Now he’s just kind of hanging out by himself and isn’t interested in the other females.

Yesterday was quite raining. Rainy days make me feel cozy and unmotivated. It didn’t help that I hadn’t slept well the night before so I was very tired. I did finally get myself going and got a few things done.

I haven’t seen the bluebirds in a couple of days, so I think they moved out of the birdhouse. I suspect that maybe the common grackles I saw in the area might have chased them out? I’m sorry the bluebirds aren’t there, but we still have chickadees in the birdhouse near the deck.

Today, Saturday, EJ and I had a quiet, restful day. We walked down to the mailbox with Hannah and then took a detour through the forest. EJ was hoping to find some morel mushrooms. He didn’t see any, but we did see some yellow trout lilies. I don’t know why they are called trout lilies, but they are very pretty. They are growing all through our forest.  Later I found some Dutchman’s Breeches. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen them outside of a photo so I was really excited. I knew immediately what they were because they look just like breeches.

 

The weather was so beautiful that EJ and I decided to have a campfire–our first this year. EJ found branches and built the fire while I made popcorn. We sat and talked around the warm fire while the night grew dark and the air grew chilly. There were billions of stars glittering in the sky. Some shone through the branches of the trees like Christmas tree lights. EJ saw several meteorites, but I always seemed to be looking the wrong way. Our cat Josette and stayed with us until our fire died and we went into the house.

 

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14 Comments on “May Days…and Nights

  1. Well TJ, I share your horror in finding the wolf spider – that was one of the first things we “discussed” all those months ago. I was horrified to have to slay two brown spiders and one baby centipede today – that’s no doubt from all the rain Wednesday through Friday and they were all the hall upstairs. What will tomorrow bring creepy-crawly wise when we had a raucous storm today … hail 3/4s of an inch to 1 inch in diameter, torrential rains and gusty wind today … a storm that lasted over two hours. The streets were full of water up to the curb – the weather has been nothing special since last December … just my opinion. 🙂 Love that you thought the spider spray was sold out – I totally “get” that and the horror of realizing you walked past or over a spider unknowingly … I always get chills up my spine when I find that out!

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    • Ugh! The worst thing about warm weather in Michigan is the spiders and other creepy crawlies!!! The wolf spiders are so big here that they scare me to death. When I saw the size of them soon after we moved here, I almost demanded to move back south! Shudder. I shouldn’t have named our property the “Enchanted Forest.” Everyone knows that every Enchanted Forest has giant spiders.

      I’m glad you survived your storms, Linda. You all have had some really bad weather down there. We’ve had a little rain, but it’s been light.

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      • I Googled an image of the wolf spiders when you first mentioned them to me … I thought they look like the big fat brown spiders down here – I know there are different varieties but not as big as yours. I am just deathly afraid, just like you – to get the two in the kitchen which were brown but not that large and not fat and juicy, you would not believe what I went though (no, I think you would) and I am always petrified, I’ll whack with a shoe and miss and it’ll land on me … I’d have a heart attack for sure.

        The weather here has not been nice with the storms … we have a thunderstorm Thursday morning, again this Friday and through the weekend. My boss is on vacation in Chicago (his son is graduating law school this weekend) and will be gone the 11th- through the 14th and I could have told you that it would rain the Friday and Monday when I could have gone somewhere for a longer walk or a different park both mornings. Oh well, rain will happen, just as long as it is not severe – yesterday was terrible and my boss called me on the way home from work tonight – they had rain only and Grosse Pointe Farms is not all that far from Lincoln Park.

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      • I came across a video of a recent storm in Lincoln Park. It was raining sideways. You guys really have had a lot of bad weather!! We could get showers Wednesday and Thursday, but it doesn’t sound as if there will be severe weather…unless it chances.

        The wolf spiders are very large up here–
        and then last August I discovered a HUGE one. I noticed a small hole near the gate to the duck pen. On a whim I used the hose to pour water down it after I filled the ducks’ pool. Up popped a HUGE wolf spider! I just about died! It made the other wolf spiders look small. It was about half the size of a tarantula! I named it Shelob after the huge spider that almost killed Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. The spiders are another reason why I like the colder months! Here is a video of Shelob at the entrance of her lair. It is scary.

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  2. Hi TJ – I’ll bet that was either yesterday’s storm or last Friday’s … I have never heard torrential rain like yesterday’s storm and the hail as well. The pounding on the roof, metal blinds and the windows was amazing and it went on like that for hours! I hope this volatile weather is not going to be the norm for the rest of the Spring and Summer. We had three severe storms in the course of only five days. I just watched your video of the wolf spider – OMG, I couldn’t go outside knowing it was there. And then it popped back into its hole so quickly tells you how quickly they move. It was large, with only half of its body looking out the hole. Made me feel sick. I am late tonight – I got my post done that I would have done yesterday had I started earlier in the day. The goslings in the Park where I walk, and a friend of mine who lives in Virginia has been taking daily pictures of a robin’s nest on her back porch. The babies finally look like birds today – not sure what they looked like before, and it’s just amazing thinking that in less than two weeks, they will fly and leave the nest, same size as their parents!

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    • Weather has always interested us. We love watching the storms coming in on radar. When we lived downstate, we noticed that they swept up from the plains. We have friends in Iowa and we got their weather a few days after they did. It seems to me that we had more thunder storms downstate. The weather patterns seem to be different up here in the North, and I haven’t yet learned them. A lot of storms come across Lake Michigan, of course. It seems to me we have fewer violent storms, but more frequent heavy rains. In the winter we have to deal with more lake effect snow.

      It’s so cool to watch birds building nests and raising their young! Several years ago, I was pulling vines off our house downstate when I accidentally pulled down a nest of robins. I felt so bad! I quickly scooped up the babies, which thankful were unharmed, and put them in a hanging basket. I was able to watch them grow and it was such an experience! I learned later that I had missed rescuing one baby that hid in the garden plants, but the parents took care of that one as well. I was amazed at what wonderful parents robins are!

      People say wolf spiders are beneficial but they terrify me up here, which is why I keep my supply of spider spray handy and spray in the house every now and then even when I don’t see spiders. I have lived in Michigan all my life and had no idea we had spiders this huge! I’ve seen black widows here too. I love the beauty of nature, but not the creepy crawlies.

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      • I follow the weather too as I am a weather worrier and believe it or not TJ, they are already forecasting rain for Wednesday night, Thursday morning, Friday afternoon and through the weekend off and on. My walking may take a hit, but I have to admit that as long as we don’t have severe weather, I’ll just deal with it as to the walking regimen.

        I used to have robins building nests in the coach lamp that is my porch light and it is right over the mailbox. The robins liked that “elbow” and in one day would make a huge nest, pack it with mud (and I don’t know how they did the wet mud to seal the nest up and kind of plaster it onto the coach light) and mud drips would be splattered on the mailbox and porch. I would tear it down before they had eggs in it, and they’d build it back up. They didn’t come last year or this year but once they start, I put up pinwheels and stuff the “elbow” with a bag with newspapers in it … it sure does not look like “House Beautiful” 🙂

        I know they say spiders are beneficial but still … I could not deal with a spider as big as in your video … that was a monster! I’ve not seen any black widows and I won’t buy grapes anymore because twice people have found live black widows in their grapes … you should see when I buy bananas – I take two plastic bags and separate them before I put them in the cart – I imagine some monster banana spider that looks like your wolf spider walking out from between the bananas.

        I’m like you – nature is beautiful, spiders and centipedes are not.

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      • Have you ever heard of the Beecher Tornado in Flint in 1953? It was an F5 tornado–I think the only F5 in Michigan. There were 844 injuries and 116 deaths. 340 homes were destroyed, 107 suffered “major damage”, and 153 suffered “minor damage”. Another 66 buildings destroyed or damaged to farms, businesses and other buildings.

        EJ’s grandmother was injured in the tornado and spent 6 months in the hospital. His Mom was babysitting kids at their house and the family next door was wiped out. His Dad was coming home from work and saw a bunch of weird birds circling in the sky–and then realized it was roofs. This storm entered the psyche of his family history so EJ has been VERY weather aware. I don’t have any stories like that to tell. Most of the time tornadoes went overhead–once when my family was camping in a tent–I was fast asleep. I just like storms, although not violent ones.

        The week we moved into our first home, a roll cloud went over our house. We prayed, “Please don’t spawn a tornado and hit our house!” Two months after we moved to our current house, a huge storm hit Northern Michigan. It caused a lot of damage. I took this video of it. It’s quite spectacular.

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  3. Wow TJ – that was just incredible! I just finished watching the video and was amazed the turn of events, how the sky started out so ominous looking and at one point it looked like a funnel cloud, then the greenish-looking sky (I never like when you see the sky that greenish color), then the hail. That hail sounds like the other night and watching it bounce off the vehicle – did the Suburban have any dents in it? I rarely drive in bad weather, but one time had a doctor’s appointment and left the house at 6:00 p.m. and sky was blue, sun was shining. Got to the allergist’s office just two miles away and got my shot. Came out 15 minutes later and it was hailing very badly and I got dents in the roof of the car. Nothing that needed to be banged out by a painting/collision ship, but dents nonetheless. Then I could see the sheets of rain down below on the tree tops after the hail started. This was an incredible video and you should have considered sharing it with the National Weather Service or a local TV station’s weather department when it happened.

    I do not remember hearing in school about the Flint tornado, but I moved here at age 10 and in school we had tornado drills and in Canada where I lived before, we never had them. I was surprised that we had the regular tornado drills and I think the teacher might have mentioned this bad tornado. I like Paul Gross, the meteorologist at “Click on Detroit” and he has mentioned this tornado, every year when the weather is ripe for tornadic activity. I have never known anyone who had family members involved in a tornado … how scary and I worry incessantly about tornadoes and strong winds since all those big trees are behind me and they have not been taken care of in years (since the original owner died about 15 years ago and had no relatives and house was taken over by the bank). The roots are coming out of the ground … after my shed blew over in a 39 mph wind gust a few years ago, I now can see in the backyard where the shed stood and can see these unkempt trees. It scares me. It really does.

    I do remember the Derecho in 1991. Do you remember that? I have a link I found but no pictures and searched on YouTube, but people weren’t making videos then, unless they had a movie camera. I remember my father had to cut the lawn and was going to do it that night, and this Derecho with the strong winds came through and it looked like someone just combed the grass down as it all slicked down. The City planted many trees in the median along Fort Street and they had staked those small trees, but the wind blew through and while it didn’t knock the trees down, they were bent over and all of them had to be removed. The sky was that same green color and I was working in downtown Detroit at an office building on the 21st floor. The senior partner had a corner office and terrific view onto the Detroit River. He had a tall glass shelf where he kept all his mementos from traveling … he was a world traveler and back when I traveled when I was younger, I used to return from trips and spend an afternoon with him looking at pictures. But anyway, he had all these framed photos from trips and mementos on the shelves and on his desk had a lot of legal papers and the Derecho’s gust of wind was so strong it broke the glass and wind was coming into his office, along with rain. He had just had his office redecorated and new cream-colored carpeting, new paint job, and the rain soaked the rug, glass went everywhere and papers and momentos flew out the window, never to be retrieved. It was very scary and I sat just down the hall.

    We had no power for a solid week and I remember going to the Wyandotte Street Fair thinking just to get away from the hot house and they had no power all along Biddle in downtown Wyandotte. I hope that never happens again. Thanks for sharing that video as it is interesting to me to see that sky churning around and the colors, hail and rain..

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    • How terrible that your senor partner had all his momentos destroyed–not to mention his newly decorated office. And to have the windows blown out on the 21st floor! Wow, that would be very scary!

      I’m sure I remember the derecho, although years of various high wind storms makes it sort of fuzzy in my mind.

      I do remember a time in the early 90s when EJ, his friend, and I went to a March for Jesus event in Lansing. It took a long time for participants to gather at the meeting place. I think organizers planned two hours for everyone to gather before the march began, which was a long time to stand around. It was very hot and very, very humid and we were all wilting from the heat. Suddenly, the temperature dropped about 40 degrees. Literally one moment it was hot and humid, and the next we were shivering from damp cold. I had a sweater with me in our car because I sometimes get cold in restaurants, etc., if the AC is too low, but poor EJ and his friend didn’t have a jacket or anything. EJ already wasn’t feeling well and this made him even more sick. We abandoned the march which was still gathering, and from then on referred to ourselves as Wimps for Jesus.

      I’m not sure if this was the same as the Derecho event but it certainly was memorable!

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      • It was scary and good thing he was not in the office as it could have been deadly! I’m thinking that might have been the same event and I remember the sky the most, more than the wind, because it had that same greenish color like you had in your video.

        Last year, we had high winds predicted in mid-Summer I think, and I listen to WWJ but also Paul Gross on “Click on Detroit” and both meteorologists said it was “derecho weather” and Paul Gross went into the weather archives and found some stats to give us about that event. I still can picture the grass and those trees, just how powerful that wind really was.

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      • See I thought so since you said early 90s and I knew this was 1991 (July). I was trying to remember about the cold air and couldn’t remember.

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