This summer in Southern MD has brought more and varied flora and fauna to my doorstep (and, at times, over the threshold!) than I could ever imagine! I love the abundance of swallowtail butterflies that are all over my yard. My dog is enjoying trying to catch the skinks that seem to be popping out everywhere. I didn't even mind the cicadas that recently swarmed us for their 17 year orgy. But, recent sightings have made even me a tad squeamish about the natural "wonders" in our part of the world.
Centipedes have invaded Southern MD this summer. I find them clinging to the backyard screen door and creepily crawling around my basement. I even found a few in bathtubs! Besides having multitudes of long, skinny legs, they move incredibly fast, which makes them hard to catch. Remember those rubber bugs that you could buy out of gumball machines as a kid? Yeah, they look like that!
|Not pretty centipede|
|not cute cricket that we have|
|this guy is on the small side!|
While I'm on the subject of our basement, can we talk about wolf spiders? These things are freaks of nature! I'm not arachnophobic. I find spider webs beautiful and fascinating. I even took photos of the black widow spider I found in our rafters (then got rid of it!) Wolf spiders, however, are a blight on spiderhood. These monstrosities don't even have the courtesy to make webs. They just lurk about in dark places waiting to scare the crap out of you. If you've never had the pleasure of meeting a wolf spider, think dark, furry, and BIG! Too big to squish. With legs included, wolf spiders can easily grow to be the size of your hand. I've seen one who's body alone was as big as my palm! That's the size of pet, not a bug! I've had to trap more than my fair share of wolf spiders this summer, and I don't even want to think about how many are still hiding in the dark corners of my basement. Shiver.
|slime mold, a lovely addition to any garden!|
Lest you think that it's only insects (I know, spiders are not insects. Let it go.) that have infested my house and made this summer less than enjoyable, I have some flora to show you that will make you want a concrete yard! First, let me introduce you to slime mold. This beast likes to make its home in our mulch. It begins its wretched life as a bright yellow blob, then transforms itself to look like dog vomit. It makes a lovely complement to your summer flowers! It also spreads, so you can be assured that when you find slime mold in your garden, more is on the way! Yay!
|in its dog vomit stage|
|not a dog toy!|
|found one of these chillin' in my basement|
So, it's been an eventful summer here is Southern MD! Spiders, and slime mold, and snakes, oh my! Nature Girl is looking forward to her trip to New York City next month! At least there, the slime and snakes will be human!