It used to be home to a number of salamanders living under a large, rotting stump. Not sure if they are still around, but the local raptors like to dine in the branches above. If the collections of feathers aren’t a giveaway, the whitewash on the blades of the clivia certainly are. Not much grows here, mostly because I forget to water. Due to a massive network of fine oak tree roots, if something is put in the ground, it had better be tough and low maintenance. Most everything is in pots.
This is where the monstrous fern bought earlier this summer resides. It is thriving, mostly because it is big enough to have established its own microclime. Smaller ferns are encouraged by this, and are coming around. There used to be hostas, but they gave up years ago. A few pots of bamboo, some steppingstones. And, apparently, a kajillion ants, all lined up on the hose, ready to climb up my arms and legs.
Actually, I was prepared this afternoon. Not only for them but for the strange gnats that fly into the eyes. But I didn’t see the remains of the small bird underfoot until too late.
And so a little later than usual this season, I had the swarming-ants-on-the-person moment. Once safely in the house, I saw a leaf on my shirt that I tried to flick off.
Except it was a reddish spider of a kind I’d not seen before. After I screamed, I managed to get it in a jar. It actually played dead, and was hard to move because it had spun an obstacle around itself. Perhaps I will get a photo later. But then again, maybe not. It is suspended in the jar, looking sinister.