Saturday, August 12, 2006

Work Day

Today is Saturday. And for the first time in weeks, it is beautiful. The last several Saturday have been stifling hot and the idea of working outside has resigned us both to wanting to sit in the A/C and watch TV. But, today feels more like the first warm weekend of spring. Everyone is out and working on the house. People are happy. The general conversation moves away from just, "It's hot." It's nice. And so today is a work day. (And yes, I am inside taking a break.) Nick however is outside putting steps on our front slope before mulching. Always the hard worker.

Since we live in a city row-house, our outside space is already limited. Given that we also live on a terrace, our space is a bit awkward at times. However, we've made the most of what we've got, and if I may say so myself, it is really starting to look good.

Earlier today, we worked on the back patio. Our first summer here, we put in some walls and a compost bin on our back hill. (The neighbor kids thought it was where we kept our killer rabbits.) We landscaped, and it was nice. This year, we've done nothing until today. We built another small bed and plan to plant some mums. (The garden guy at Home Depot swore they'd do fine in the shade.) The one thing that is really different this summer is the amount of spiders and webs. Other neighbors have noticed too. And these are really really ugly spiders.

Thanks to Real Simple magazine, I found a website (www.whatsthatbug.com) to do some research. Although I didn't find an exact match, it seems like they're some kind of Orb Weaver. The website showed Golden Orb Weavers, and another unidentified brown one, but not the black and white version we have out back. However, the body seems to be about the same shape. I have found at least 4 of them with extensive webs on our miniscule patio.

Here are some pictures of the back and one of a spider and web. Don't know if you can make it out or not.



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