Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Stumbling Upon the Unexpected

Look what I discovered in the garden this week . . .

After escorting the trash can to the curb,  I was walking back towards the house . . . just minding my own business . . . when the morning light on the east side of the garden caught my eye. It's always a treat to see rays of sunbeams filtering through the trees, so I stopped to admire the soft autumn light for a minute. That's when the 2 blue orbs caught my attention.

As I walked closer, both of the blue orbs and the bird feeder appeared to be lit up like lamps. "How neat is that!" I thought. And, then there it was on the right side . . . another surprise . . . the overnight handy work of a busy spider. Whenever, I come across a spider's web, I'm reminded of the lyrics in The Eagle's song "Waiting in the Weeds"  - - "A small, gray spider spinning in the dark, in spite of all the times the web is torn apart."   Don't you just love the meaning behind those lyrics? Spiders are resilient and people need to be resilient, too, to weather life's storms.

 This is my version . . . or, at least the beginning of a "bottle tree."  In the past, Southerners created bottle trees to keep evil spirits (or 'haints' as they were called) at bay. The Southerners would hang bottles, while the Europeans hung round globes (known as "witch balls") with an opening in them The evil spirits (or haints) would be attracted to the sound made by the wind around the bottle openings, and would be sucked into the bottle or ball. Since I'm of European descent and a Southerner, I wanted to include a bit of this history in my garden. Click on this link if you want to read the history around the "bottle tree."

 And, a view from the other side of the tree gave a whole different perspective. There's always 2 sides to every story . . .isn't there? Not to bore you but to quote Don Henley in his song "Long Way Home" he says. . . "there's 3 sides to every story - your side, my side and the cold hard truth." Now, how true is that, even though we'd rarely admit it. From the back side, the sunlight is illuminating the cinnamon-colored bark of the Natchez crape myrtle, and the gazing balls are their natural deep blue color.

Wouldn't you agree that was a neat little discovery? That's been happening in my front yard every morning since I hung those orbs there, and I didn't even know it. Wonder what else is going on in my garden that I don't know about!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Oh, and look what other unexpected, and not so wonderful, things I discovered when checking on my vegetable garden. I actually love seeing caterpillars in my garden but not on my eggplant leaves, so he was quickly relocated. Can anyone identify this little guy for me?

And, then there was this feisty green stinkbug hanging out on my tomato bush. He is definitely not a welcome visitor! I actually saw two of them fighting over a small Sungold tomato yesterday. He was quite agitated by my picture taking attempts, and finally flew away.

But before heading indoors to get some work done, my walk ended on an upbeat note when I came across this bright green Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly sunning himself on the tomato cage. Can't blame him, as it was quite a delightful morning following 3 days of rain and gray skies!

It should be a wonderful weekend . . . so enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Susan - what a great post! I especially love the bottle tree information . . . and I headed right over to Etsy to find some witch balls.

Great pictures too . . . .

Most of the time when I stumble upon an unexpected spider web it's usually too late - try getting web "stuff" out of a head full of frizzy, curly hair - not to mention I'm always freaked out that a spider might be in there too. I do the hootchie-cootchie dance until I'm sure I'm critter free. :-)

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Your blue orbs look great there in that tree. Apparently, your spider decided to add its decorative touch to the scene. You were lucky to have been able to see the web. It looks amazing next to the orbs. I like the bark on that crepe myrtle.

Susan said...

Hi Eli...I hope you had some luck tracking the witch balls down. I bought the real pretty one at The Barn in Lake Alfred. I know what you mean about the spider webs. I run into them all the time when I mow the grass. Can't stand to have them crawling through my hair. Yuk!

Hi Susie...Yes, that spider web was an extra treat for walking over to take a closer look at the orbs. Thanks for stopping by.

Leslie said...

What a magical walk you had in your garden. I love the picture of the glowing witch balls and the sparkling spider web. It's been such a great year for spiders, it seems. They're everywhere in my yard! I wonder why...

I really enjoyed reading about the witch balls. I'd never heard of them before, but now I definitely want some.

Bob Carlson said...

Great photos. I have not seen these orbs before but I want some.

June tmm said...

Susan, I really like this post, especially the link to the garden glass, I'm inspired to add some to my garden. Your crepe myrtle looks very healthy and beautiful. I'm a little southwest of you (zone 9-10) and find they often look leggy and empty here. Do you have a feeding regiment for your plants? Thanks!

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