So the garden is practically seething with big spiders these days. There are orb webs spanning the gaps between branches or arcing across the front entry-way or even from the hedge to any car foolish enough to sit still for a few hours. Most of these orbs are homes to furry spiders, others have sullen-looking yellow-brown fellows. Trapdoor spiders are in and about the squash vines all around the front yard. Compact little jumping spiders that remind me of Isuzu trucks seem to prefer the sunny area in back where the nasturtiums flourished. The echinacea are a-lurking with yellow or white crab spiders. It’s a hard job being a gnat.
But even the spiders don’t have it so good. The other day, I saw a large mud-wasp carrying the paralyzed body of one of the yellow-brown spiders. Supposedly, they lay eggs in the paralyzed spider, so when the young hatch, they have something fresh to eat. Hey, these guys all play rough — spiders, wasps, they’re all packing chemical weapons.
On my walk in to work this morning, I saw a red-tailed hawk sitting in a deodar tree. The neighborhood seems kind of urban for hawks, but they do show up occasionally. As I walked, it exploded down on a group of mourning doves, which frantically scattered in all directions. They all shot behind a house, and I didn’t see the outcome. So either a bird died suddenly, or a bird went hungry.