This is my site where I will be sharing my thoughts, feelings and happenings. In the words of Austin Powers, "It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out...yeah!" Enjoy!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Working and Playing Outside

Today is a gorgeous Saturday. It is good to be alive! It's 80 degrees and feels so nice. I did some housework in the morning and then went outside after lunch with Craig and Minga to look at our yard and uproot some plants (ferns and elephant ears) in order to plant them elsewhere. We are going to have more work done to our yard soon (drainage system and leveling the ground and preparing it for grass of some sort) so the native plants may not make it and we wanted to be sure to still have some. I adore elephant ear plants so I was thrilled to see tons behind the house when we moved in! They were mowed down during the initial yard clearing but they have sprouted back up again.

After leisurely strolling our 3/4 of an acre, I was inspired to pick up a lot of trash in the yard. Most was uncovered after our jungle was mowed down, but some of it Minga has found at the neighbors' and has so kindly dragged it home to us. We cannot wait to get a fence so she won't be able to dig through the neighbors trash and bother them anymore! After the yard is done we will get a fence put up.

Speaking of Minga dragging things home from around the neighborhood, she has brought home a wide variety of things. We have no idea exactly where she's getting these things because whenever we walk the streets and look at our neighbors homes we don't see trash piles or junk lying around (it must all be hiding in their backyards!). She has brought home several dog toys, mostly half destroyed stuffed animals but once it was a new tennis ball attached to a braided ring. Since we didn't know where it had come from, we let her keep it. She destroyed it in less than 20 minutes (it was poorly made).

The one thing she brought home that made me laugh and groan was a clear plastic bag of pig ears. I laughed because of the way she showed up at our sliding glass back door with her mouth shoved in the bag. She was holding her mouth open to create enough tension to keep the bag on her face and the bag was all the way up to her eyes or maybe beyond. It looked like she could suffocate like that but there she was holding her head high and tasting the pig ears while carrying the bag at the same time. She started jumping on the door like she wanted in very quickly (like she knew she had stole it and didn't want to get caught and have the prize taken from her). After she stopped jumping she dropped the bag and that was when we actually realized what it was. That's when I groaned because I think dogs chewing on pig ears is creepy and gross. But, supposedly it's good for them. Craig took the bag away from her and let her have one but she had to eat it outside. She got another ear (they were big ones) every few days if she had been good.

The worst was when we let her out after dark and she came inside and shortly after threw up on the kitchen floor. It was strange looking barf...white and fluffy. We didn't know what the heck it was until later that night I turned on the back porch light and looked through the glass and saw a mangled dirty diaper on our balcony. Minga had eaten the nasty thing and that's what she puked up! Ewwwwww!

Back to today...after picking up trash I decided to sweep the wraparound balcony and shake out the large welcome mat. There are always so many leaves on our balconies. All of that took awhile because the deck is large and I was also sweeping up spider webs on the house and near the windows while throwing a frisbee for Minga to fetch.

I finally got a decent picture of a banana spider. It's just the silhouette so you can't see the many bright colors he has. I have yet to get one that's focused with enough light to see the details. These guys are everywhere on our property so eventually I'll get one.

Our 2 large pines trees currently have a least 4 banana spiders living in webs that span between the two and all the way up as high as you can see. The webs are very can see the 3rd web in the sunshine in this picture (above the green leaves of the other kind of tree). It was flapping in the breeze today.

Here's a story about another Florida critter. I was walking in the door and was startled when something landed on my head. I thought it could have been a leaf but I also feared it was a spider. I brushed my hand on my head and closed the door behind me after stepping all the way inside. I looked down saw this huge moth (called a luna moth) on the floor. It was gorgeous and as big as my hand! It stayed there awhile so I took some pictures and then decided the best way to help him outside was to gently get him on the broom and carry him out that way (I didn't want to damage his wings with my skin). The plan worked. He hopped off the broom and onto the balcony railing (Minga was outside so I couldn't let him off on the ground) and sat there a bit fluttering his wings. Then he flew away and since he was so big I could see him a long ways off. It was neat.

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