Friday, August 16, 2013

with friends like these . . .

Earlier this week, I started a long overdue project of decluttering the bench beside our front door. When we moved here in 1975, this bench was a brick planter harboring a giant split-leaf philodendron with thick roots that were trying to undermine the foundation. I soon pulled it out, and ultimately Steve filled the cavity with concrete.

Over time, the bench had become a dumping ground for empty pots, cuttings waiting to be potted, garden tools, gloves, watering cans, etc.

My first task was to remove empty pots. Plastic and plain terra cotta pots, if not damaged, were sorted by size and put in containers bound for their new home on the back patio, where I hope to establish a work area for potting. Decorative pots were placed on or near the bench. There was some repotting done, but I'm not going to talk about it now.

Let's get on to the friends I mentioned in the title of this piece: spiders! Steve and I love spiders. Noiseless, patient spiders! Indeed we venerate them. If we see a web blocking a garden path, we will give it a wide berth. We have been known to feed spiders by throwing stunned houseflies into their webs, and we are great fans of the Spider Pavilion at the L.A. County Natural History Museum.

Few habitats are more beloved of spiders than your common empty flower pot -- plastic, terra cotta, concrete, porcelain, or metal. While sorting the pots, I gently relocated myriad spiders (dead and alive), as well as their silken egg sacs, into the mulch on our garden beds.

So now I have two questions:
  • why must I be suffering from so many spider bites (at least seven on my left leg alone)? 
  • with friends like these, who needs enemies?
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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License