HELP – Jumping Spider ALERT

Jumping SpidersThere is a FIRST time for everything. It’s summer, I’ve dealt with centipedes, ants and spiders… BUT NOT tiny little jumping spiders.

Last night, I saw something small and dark on the floor. I thought it was a fuzzle from my sock. When I went to pick it up, imagine my HORROR when it was a tiny spider that jumped. I yelped, as we do, when caught by surprise. Natural instinct had me going after the jumping spider, but he was so tiny and so quick – IMPOSSIBLE TO CATCH HIM.

I know, bug lovers out there are routing for him to LIVE. We are supposed to live in “harmony” with bugs that come into our house.

Now, I don’t know if this picture is the “exact spider” in my house, but he looks very similar. Looking at him up close is a bit scary, which if funny, because he must be terrified of me, the giant human.

Well… last night, he WON, he escaped.

BUT this morning, HE had such NERVE. He came up on my desk. I was innocently doing my work, when he JUMPED by my coffee!  I had resigned myself into “trying” to live in harmony with him last night, since I couldn’t catch him. However, coming on to my desk was a declaration of war.

So — I went after him AGAIN, but he was TOO quick. He jumped from my desk to the window sill, which is white, so I could see him. I went to “get him,” he jumped on the floor, which is dark, impossible to see him. I did smile, very clever tactic. Got away again.

Tell me folks, have you had jumping spiders in the house? What should I  do?

Enjoying nature, finding love…

IMG_0885Isn’t there that saying that “you never know what you might find?” Well, I can say it is TRUE. I was walking on the beach with the goal of getting exercise. There weren’t many stones or shells, so I was walking at a good pace.

Suddenly, I reached an area full of rocks, shells, wood and so on. Having to walk slower, I decided to look at the rocks to see if there was anything interesting. As a child, we were always collecting Indian beads. The goal was to find Indian beads with holes in them, so we could make a necklace. As you can see from the rock photo, we really had to “search” to find just “one” Indian bead, but it was FUN!

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Feeling like a kid again, I started my hunt for an Indian bead. LOW AND BEHOLD, I looked down and saw this piece of glass in the shape of a HEART. I picked it up and turned it in different directions, verifying that my eyes were not deceiving me and SMILED. Yes, it was indeed the shape of a heart!

What a special find!

So, when I say, “finding LOVE,” it felt that way. My “own heart” grew 100 times at that moment. A reminder to appreciate life and that love is around us.

Moral of the story… go out, take a moment to really enjoy nature AND feel like a kid again! You might find your special heart too!

Need some LADYBUGS, buy Geraniums.

IMG_3514I enjoy gardening. When Spring comes I have favorite flowers. I love impatiens and geraniums. Imaptiens remind me of Carmel, CA, beautiful bedding plant, but they do need watering every day. Geraniums though, they are a hardy flower that bloom constantly with little care.

IMG_3510Recently, I went to the gardening store and was looking for geraniums in this pinkish/redish color. I looked down and this particular geranium was FULL of ladybugs. Of course, I smiled and was transported to my childhood when the “first” ladybug I ever saw had landed on my arm. This little bug was so pretty, sweet and dainty and when it walked up my arm it felt like a little tickle when it moved. My second thought was, “WOW – I must be in for some REALLY GOOD LUCK, there are a lot of ladybugs here!” My third and final thought was, how are there so many ladybugs on “THIS” particular geranium?

So, I read the little instruction sticker and it said that this particular geranium attracts ladybugs to it, which is good for your garden, because ladybugs eat different insects. DID YOU KNOW THAT? I didn’t.

When I got home I Googled “ladybugs” and found that in Europe ladybugs are called “ladybirds.” Not sure that I can see how a ladybug resembles a bird except for the wings it has. At the same time, it made me think that this sweet beautiful little creature does not look like a “bug” either. My research found that ladybugs “are known” for bringing “good luck!”

So, with this post, I share my ladybugs with you.

Let’s see what luck comes our way!



Coyote versus the Fox

imageMy brother took this photo of a coyote in his backyard. Beautiful picture!

When I saw the photo, it made me think of a few children’s stories, i.e Little Red Riding Hood, Aesop’s Fables: The Fox and the Grapes and Pinocchio. However, I realized those stories use a “fox” as a character and not a “coyote,” but I thought how similar these animals look. So, I found a photo of a fox to compare to the coyote, you can see as well.

I am in the process of writing a children’s book and it seems that the animals most used are mice, bears, foxes and frogs.. not a coyote very often and if it is used it seems to be in a story related to the Southwest. Although, now the coyote has ventured to normal neighborhoods like our small town in Indiana.

imageAs the Universe would have it, I was reading the WSJ the other day and there was an article about coyotes by David Roberts called, “The Original Bolshevik.” It did not paint a pretty picture of the coyote. I enjoyed the article as it gave a little history lesson on who the coyote is and where he has come today.

I smiled when Roberts said in the past, the settlers would “fear” the howl, whine and chatter of the coyote and now when we hear the howling on a camping trip, we are not afraid, but more interested in catching a glimpse of this animal with the vision of the moon behind him, which is the picture etched in our minds. I guess it would be like catching a glimpse of a bat or a vampire… we want to see “what they are up to” in the dark of the night, from a distance, of course, so we can write about it!

In my Google search I read that coyotes/foxes do not normally hurt or eat humans, but they have been venturing toward neighborhoods in search of food. Many people leave cat/dog food out and they like it. They also eat squirrels, rabbits, mice, rats, insects, fish, frogs, berries and different fruits.

The howling is a group exercise I read and a form of communication between them, but nothing more and they are sneaky and smart with a keen sense of smell. I think this is why we find them intriguing, we just don’t know what they are “up to.”

For example, when I lived in Chicago the media was in uproar when a “coyote” walked into a Quizno’s sandwich shop during the day and went to lie down in the cooler where they had the cold drinks. That caught everyone by surprise.

I told you… they are sneaky!