Seriously Creeped Out

Fishing Spider

This is NOT what I wanted to see on my studio window screen this morning!  The window was open, but at first glance I couldn’t tell whether this way-too-big-to-be-comfortable-with-it spider was on the inside of my studio, or outside, where it belonged.  Closer – albeit careful – inspection revealed it to be clinging to the outside of the window screen, so that was permissible.

Admittedly, spiders are not among my favorite forms of wildlife.  I do try to capture and release indoor trespassers before I resort to squashing or vacuuming, though that thought always crosses my mind.   Spiders that are outside my buildings are in their own habitat and  I respect that, and their right to be there.  It’s only the ones that come indoors that I have issues with.

Anyway, this one is called a fishing spider.  I’m not sure what he’s fishing for on my screen, but they do like trees and woods and there’s plenty of both here.  In fact, my guess is that it came off, or was heading for, the shagbark hickory that is only inches from the window.

As spiders go…a beauty, I suppose.  Though I think there should be a size-limit on spiders.  Things like insects and spiders tend to get creepier as they get larger.



Mystery Shroom

I came across this mystery mushroom in the woods next to our house.  I’ve never seen anything like it and after several hours of perusing my mushroom field guides – still haven’t seen anything like it.

There were four or five of these growing in the wet leaf litter.  I have no idea at what stage they are either, but it does seem to me that they aren’t as fresh as they could be.  Did that change their shape so much that I can’t find what species they are in the guide books?

Each one is about 3 inches tall.  Anyone have any ideas?

Notice the bug on this one!

Violation – On So Many Levels

One of the many perks of living nine miles from the main road, in a national forest, is the opportunity to enjoy an abundance of wildlife right in the backyard.  We have enjoyed watching the animals that share this space with us, particularly the deer that stroll through our patch of woods almost every evening and morning for the six years we have owned this property.

Yesterday morning was no exception.  A doe and two yearling fawns have been coming by regularly, so when the weather dipped to the teens the other day, we put out a seed block that doubles as a squirrel and raccoon feeder too.  The kids nibbled away for a few minutes and slowly followed their mom up the trail that leads out of our yard, to cross a dirt road and into the DBNF, about 300 feet up the hill – if that.

My husband was coming from the music studio out back to the house when the shotgun blasted, so close and so loud that he hit the dirt and checked himself for  gunshot.  I was in the house vacuuming – and still heard the shot loud and clear over the roar of our very old, very loud Hoover.  I ran outside to find my husband cursing at a white pickup truck paused on the dirt road just above our house, where the deer cross.  The truck lingered for about 2 minutes and drove off – probably carrying one of ‘our’ deer with it.

We haven’t seen the deer since, so we don’t know which one, if any, lost its life.  Since it was a sniper ambush from a truck, probably at very close range, we’re fairly certain at least one was killed.  There was only one shot. The survivors probably have run for their lives and won’t be back for some time now, if at all, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Just to be clear here, I’m not totally against hunting, when done properly and for a good reason.  I come from a hunting family, though I admit I’m becoming less tolerant of it by the minute.  This was not hunting.  This was an ambush from a vehicle – and way too close to a house.  Snipers in a truck, without honor and without any dignity at all. The same sort of morons who killed a deer a couple of weeks ago, hacked off the meat they wanted, and left the rest of the carcass by the side of the road, covered with a piece of plywood.  Like that would hide it and what they’d done from the rest of the world.

We reported this shooting, but one of the misfortunes of being so far away from town is that law enforcement can seldom arrive quickly.  No matter. I do believe what goes around, comes around, so these lowlife cowards will have to deal with the consequences of their dastardly deeds someday.

There will be more deer, and they will eventually continue to use the trails that cross our yard, as they have long before people came here, and probably will long after we’re gone.

Postscript: 6:14 PM.  Apparently, the truck sniper was not a good shot! “Our” deer returned this evening, a little more skittish (good!) but otherwise unharmed.  We still find the behavior of those “hunters” inexcusable.

Old Wagons and New Goats

Hunting season is underway here so I’m not in the woods as much as I’d like to be, but there’s plenty to explore close to the house, since we’re in the deep woods anyway. On the gravel road behind our place, for instance, is this abandoned something or other.  I thought it was a wagon at first, but there’s evidence that it was some type of mechanized thing – a harvester, or something that had chains and moving parts.
I didn’t walk up on it this time, since the warmer days are bringing out the ticks again, but I remember looking at this a couple of years ago. It’s been there a very long time – there’s a tree grown right up in between the floorboards.

The one right behind the wheel – you can barely see the trunk if you look through the wheel spokes.  There are chains running down the side of this thing, and it looks like there once was an engine of some sort toward the rear.  There’s an old cemetery nearby too – no buildings left at all. Some of the locals say there used to be a small town that was destroyed by a tornado.  What I see is how Nature takes over once the people go away.

Interesting how things go in cycles.  Just down the road from this relic, not more than a few hundred yards, neighbors from closer to the lake have purchased some land in the woods, cleared it to the former farmland that would have been present when this piece of farm equipment was in use, are building a cabin and are raising goats.

 I would have preferred horses, but OK. Goats are good too.

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