Spiders, wasps and the rest!
Sunday 17th June
Several grey days with little breaks of sunshine now and then have passed slowly by. We have had rain, but not too much, so the tractor came out yesterday and cut the drive, the “garden” and a trackway around the lake that does a big loop because DH refuses to take a new tractor across the boggy patch where the spring runs down. He remembers two eight wheel diggers vanishing into the mud never to be seen again when the M1 was built between Durham and Darlington. So the slope up to the house remains uncut and looks gloriously wild.
I put on an apron yesterday (to avoid splashing my clean top) to cook dinner and discovered several little cylindrical shaped things attached to the right breast – just like a brooch. Made out of mud, obviously the work of some insect or spider, I called DH and they were hastily despatched to oblivion. Sitting on the bolly later I looked up and saw two wasps upside down on the oak beam doing something that could have been mating.
DH has better eyesight than me (I need new glasses) and said they had started building a nest and he wasn’t having that over his head while he was eating, so once they flew away, he got hold of a broom and knocked it down. Inside were little golden ball things, which I took to be some kind of tree flower or berry. Huh! Later I spied one of the golden balls under the chair and curiosity got the better of me; I scooped it up on a piece of kitchen paper and put it on the table and really looked at it. Quelle horreur! It was a tiny golden spider with six almost translucent legs and a red spot on its body. I have no idea what kind of a wasp turns into a spider, or vice versa, but it was soon got rid of into the long grass. (It was already dead; I didn’t kill it.) The wasps came back, couldn’t find their nest and haven’t returned.
Doing some washing yesterday, I stuck my hand into a plastic bag of Persil non-bio capsules and found a sticky soggy mass. Ugh! Withdrew hand rather swiftly and saw fingers covered in blue goo. One or more of the capsules had burst, and instead of being tight and hard, the rest of them were limp, squidgy things that degenerated into blue goo as I watched. I don’t know if one had accidently been burst, or the heat had been too much, or they had simply been there too long, but something had caused them to degenerate. Maybe they froze in the winter? I know it can get pretty cold, as low as minus 12 degrees C. I suppose if they froze they would expand and burst the bags? Anyway, washing powder is now on the list for our next shop.