Music for the Masses

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You know it's time to mow the lawn when ...

We seem to be losing water pressure in our sprinkling system. I'm not sure how or why--maybe it's something the city is regulating. I don't know. I *do* know that I popped the lid on our valve box that houses the secondary water line. Much to my chagrin, I found a few disturbing things:

  1. The inside of the box has become over-run with quack grass rhizomes and shoots. This isn't too surprising because our whole front yard is over-run with the stuff. Nothing I can do will kill it, either ... short of nuking the whole front with vegetation killer, which I *really* don't want to do.
  2. Nestled among the shoots and rhizomes was THE BIGGEST female black widow I have ever seen. She was at least 2.5" long. That's gargantuan by black widow standards.
  3. She must be the "get-around spider" of the yard cuz she had egg sacs all over the place. At least 3 or 4 that I could see, and who knows how many there were deeper in the hole.

So I put the lid back on and wondered what the heck I was going to do. As I sat on our sidewalk, contemplating my next course of action, I looked around the yard. All along the west side of the property, buttressed up against the shrubs that divide our yard from our neighbor's driveway, were black widow nests. There were at least a dozen ... probably closer to 20. I mean, they were EVERYwhere! That freaked me out.

Due to my quickly browning lawn, I knew I had to stick my hand in there. I also knew that doing so pre-maturely would probably end badly--at least with a healthy (see?! irony!) sized patch of necrotized tissue. Bad juju for someone who uses his hands for a living. Like I said, we have some shrubs that separate our property from our neighbor's. I took a relatively long twig off of it and began poking around in the valve box. Interestingly, the black widow immediately rallied around her two larges, most top-side egg sacs. It was rather cool to see. I mean, no ... she didn't rear up on her hind legs and knock the twig aside, but it was obvious that she was in a completely defensive mode. It was just cool to watch.

I think I'll take some pictures later tonight and post them. I don't really *want* to kill all the black widows. They keep our annoying bug population to a minimum. That's always nice, except our girls like to play in the front yard. Can't have that right now! It's strict backyard outside time for them until I figure out how to get rid of them.


The Dixon Gang said...

I think you should go for the total nuking of the front yard :) Yeah!!! I think that is a very wise choice :)

Texie said...

K, I think you need to nuke the front yard, the back yard, and the inside of the house. That is freaky Chris, your facination with spiders should have no bearing on the decisions you make at this point. Yuck! I am totally freaked out. Thanks, alot, really.