TAKING THE PATH OUT

One tires of simply walking around the block and getting barked at by the same dogs in the same places and stepping round the same sewerage leaks … every now and then it is good to walk to the end of the road and along the path decorated with (on this day) donkey droppings acting as a starter marker for a jaunt out of the suburb.

It doesn’t go far for it serves merely as a shortcut to the nominal industrial area and the road that bypasses the town. The area is not as barren or as uninteresting as it might appear at first glance. Tiny pelargoniums look up brightly:

Spiderwebs catch some of the 2mm of rain that fell during the night:

An abandoned hollowed out termite heap gives a glimpse of the layers inside – I am sorry about the litter, but felt disinclined to remove it sans gloves:

At the top of the low rise one gets a lovely view across town on this overcast day:

The return path wends it way through patches of long grass:

In several places termites have been hard at work repairing their heaps:

On our return, we meet a single cow with her calf:

HAIRY SURPRISES

I shrieked; my toes curled, and I dropped the lid of the dustbin – then peered in cautiously. This is the hairy surprise that awaited me:

The spider appeared to lunge towards me and I drew back aghast – then peered into the bin even more cautiously, my toes still in a tight curl:

Needless to say, I replaced the lid promptly.

Now, only a few days later I boiled the kettle to make some tea. I lifted the tin and dropped it like a shot! I shrieked again and curled my toes – another (surely it cannot be the same!) large hairy spider scuttled out from underneath. It disappeared – as I feared – yet as the kettle had nearly boiled I reached to warm the pot. I didn’t get very far:

For the spider had sought shelter in the tea pot!

Give me a snake any day!

For the curious among you: my husband simply placed the lid on the tea pot, took it outside, and emptied the spider into the lavender bush. Of course I would have been able to do that – once my toes had uncurled!

RETURN OF THE FLATTIES

The Flatties are back. Some of these Common Wall Spiders are small while others are large. They are all over the house, where they can be seen on the walls and the ceilings. While they do move during the day, they appear to be most active at night.

This one paid a visit to our bathroom. I don’t mind them at all for they are completely harmless and do us the favour of hunting for mosquitoes and flies (both of which are being rather pesky at the moment) as well as moths.

The ones frequenting our house are this brown to grey colour with stripes and bands. While they stand out on the walls, this colouring is particularly good for camouflaging them outdoors, where I occasionally see them on the rocks near the pool or on tree trunks.

A RATHER LARGE READING COMPANION

I was comfortably ensconced in an arm chair while reading in the lounge late the other evening. I was engrossed in the novel on my lap when I was quietly informed that I might like to look up. This is what I saw emerging from the folds of the curtain just above my head – I take it you are not surprised the photograph is not in full focus:

Unsurprisingly, I chose a different chair – from where I could look up and track the spider’s very slow progress across the wall:

It circumnavigated the room over the next two days before disappearing.