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Wolf Pack

Hello everyone ūüôā¬† Hope your weekend was nice and relaxing, or busy and challenging if you prefer that kind of thing!¬† Mine was lovely – spent much of it with family and friends and the weather was gloriously warm.

As it was my Mum’s 70th on Saturday, I spent Saturday night and all of Sunday with her.¬† She had planned various little get-togethers, so we spent a lot of time sitting drinking tea and feeding our faces.¬† Can’t complain, but my diet has been seriously derailed.

We also had another guest come to tea, and she brought her whole family.¬† This Wolf Spider decided to hang out in Mum’s kitchen with all her babies.¬† Hundreds of babies!¬† If you look closely, you will see is she hauling them around on her back.¬† It makes her look much bigger than she actually is (even though these little critters can get pretty big and scary ha ha) and you can see in the second picture how much smaller she is.¬† It was a really hot day when she came in so we put a dish of water out for her.¬† We’re a bit weird like that ūüôā¬† We used to have a spider that came down every day for a drink of milk – fascinating to watch and really cute.

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Anyway, this baby-momma had LOADS of little free-loaders on her back and basically proceeded to dump them all in Mum’s house overnight.¬† Tiny wee things they are and they will eventually make their way outside because that’s where the food supply is!¬† A few of them sadly met a watery death in the bowl of water we had left out.¬† Whoops.¬† Not sure if they fell in there when Mummy Spidey was having a drink or if they wandered in by themselves.¬† RIP little dudes – your lives were cut tragically short!

Wolf Spiders are venomous but not in the deadly sense – they can give you a painful bite if provoked, which can lead to swelling, itchiness and general localised pain.¬† If you’re really unlucky you might have a worse reaction, like nausea, headaches, dizziness etc.¬† But I’ve been around these critters my whole life and they pretty much mind their own business and don’t go around attacking people unless provoked.¬† For instance, there was the time I got out of the shower and wrapped a towel around me.¬† Hmmmm, I thought, there’s something scratchy in this towel…opened the towel only to discover a VERY LARGE¬† Wolf Spider sitting rather grumpily on my hip.¬† Cue screaming and panicking.¬† Now, I am not squeamish about spiders – I don’t kill them or worry too much about them in general –¬† however I do draw the line at a humongous hairy beastie the size of my hand catching a lift on my naked body.¬† But she didn’t bite me, that’s the point I was getting to.¬† They’re not overly aggressive – they will sometimes rear up at you a bit if you provoke them or try to relocate them with a broom or something – but they’re not jumpy, bitey creatures.¬† Unless you’re a fly or another insect.¬† Apparently, some of the larger species of Wolfy can also catch and eat frogs and toads.¬† Am I freaking you out yet?

This little lady in Mum’s kitchen was only small and has a lot of growing to do.¬† Having incubated and hatched her babies, she has done her job and now she will go off and live her life again.¬† The babies have to fend for themselves now (actually, even when they are with her she really only protects them by having them on her back – if one falls off it’s tough luck!) and hopefully not fall in to any more bowls of water!

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Enjoy your day everyone – hope your spidey senses keep you out of mischief¬†ūüôā

x

P.S : I had to include this close-up shot from the Australian Reptile Park (all photo credit to them) – isn’t it gorgeous? Those eyes!¬† And, um, those fangs!

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Spring Finally Arrives…

This has been a weird Spring. ¬†Many people have reported on the Spring Deficit experienced this year. ¬†Everything from people feeling more moody due to the extended SAD we’ve been subjected to¬†throughout September and October¬†(where is the sun?!) to business experiencing a down-turn in revenue (you try selling ice creams in the middle of a freezing cold, wet and blustery day that goes on for weeks!). ¬†Neighbourhood plants have been very confused too – never knowing from one day to the next as to what season it is. ¬†My garden (such as it is at the new house) is a bit hit and miss, with things that should be flowering NOT flowering, and things that should have stopped flowering STARTING to flower.

But, as of this last week, Spring appears to making some effort to show up. ¬†We’ve had some lovely sunny days and temperatures have started rising. ¬†My garden is responding to the warmer conditions and beginning to look a bit more colourful and I, in turn, have been whinging less and dressing more like someone who lives in Australia, rather than a native of Antarctica. ¬† My beautiful pelargonium is finally in flower – isn’t she a stunner? ¬†I’ve had this plant for years and have had many cuttings from her, all of which have flowered prolifically. ¬†She’s actually a little more purple than the picture shows, and I think she is a¬†Spanish Angel, but don’t quote me on that – the label disintegrated a long time ago!

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been busily re-potting a lot of my poor plants that have been very neglected during my move (and the months preceding it, if I’m honest). ¬†Even my cacti were feeling a bit sad and unloved. ¬†I re-potted them and in a matter of days they started to look happier and less, well, dead. ¬†My little bunny cactus is much more sprightly looking now (if a plant can be sprightly!). ¬†He is an off-shoot of my original cactus from a few years back, and is only a couple of inches high. ¬†Adorable.

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My much-loved aloe is doing really well (he never lets me down even when I treat him¬†badly and forget he¬†exists) and is even sprouting a flower spike, which I take to mean he¬†is happy. ¬†I have given him a bigger pot and he is going great guns. ¬†If he could smile, he’d be giving me a big, toothy, cheeky grin. ¬†Possibly a wink and a “How YOU doin;?”
He’s just that sort of guy ūüôā

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I even have a couple of sad little lemons starting to develop on my potted lemon tree. ¬†It desperately needs feeding but I keep forgetting…

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My white geranium is blossoming too. ¬†Love a nice pristine, white flower. ¬†I also bought this one at the same time as my original bunny cactus, and it has been a regular healthy bloomer ever since. ¬†I love geraniums – they are essential in a low maintenance garden. ¬†So pretty and prolific and easy to take cuttings from. ¬†They don’t die very easily, which is a bonus when you’re a black thumb kind of gardener like me.

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The aeonium cuttings I pinched from my rental unit are doing nicely too. ¬†They are all in flower and just so pretty. ¬†I’m glad I managed to salvage a few pieces when I moved out – they are such great plants and so easy to look after and keep alive! ¬†Plus they grow so quickly and¬†are very water-wise.

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Also in my garden area, but not something I have potted or grown myself…this little guy. ¬†I believe he is an¬†Australian Jumping Peacock Spider¬†. ¬†Isn’t he cute? ¬†I didn’t get the best photo because he was so teeny-tiny and my camera is pretty rubbish. ¬†Also, because he wouldn’t keep still and kept leaping about (as jumping spiders do). ¬†He is about 5mm long and has a bright red and blue pattern on his butt. ¬†The blue is hard to see in this picture, but it is very striking. ¬†I love jumping spiders – they’re awesome. ¬†I’ve never seen one like this before – or maybe I just haven’t paid attention (more likely). ¬†I hope he is good at eating mosquitoes…

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So, Spring has sprung and is working its magic, not only on the garden but on me as well.  I  just function so much better in the warm weather and get a lot more done.  I think my house is going to be pretty hot in Summer, so I may be regretting those words soon.  Until then, I am happy to see the sun shining every day and feeling its heat in these old bones.

Hope your day (or at least your heart) is full of sunshine today ūüôā