6.25.2011

≡ TRAPPED IN THE LAND OF MIXED FEELINGS ≡











Often I feel truly guilty when I walk around our garden...See? I am growing a Strawberry guava, a plant considered by many to be an invasive in South Florida. It is a shrub that needs cold protection here in my 9b zone (Central Florida) and I think that is why it is not considered an invasive in our side of the railroad tracks. But when I chat about it with people who know I feel like I get The Look.

I do, however, have an explanation that sounds pretty good to me: it appears that guavas do protect citrus from the dreaded greening. There is also a down side to this as some studies show a higher incidence of other citrus maladies...but in my book those are not as deadly as greening, so I am sticking to my guns here.


Add Image

So there. It's out. I am growing a (currently tiny) strawberry guava. Unfriend me if you will. I am still going to grow it. After all, we do have eight different types of citrus trees, which adds up to a pretty sizable investment for thrifty me.



The other source of my emotional pain is that I just killed a spider and its unborn pups. For days I merely marbled at the sight as the missus set up her nursery right next to my computer table on the outside of my window. This allowed me to study it without fear of being bitten or startled by it. Every day felt like a bit of a National Geographic time while I watched the spiderlettes grow inside their funky sacs which look unlike any I'd ever seen...all fancy and spiky like some miniature Medieval torture device.

And I hope I don't ever see them again.

But it is unlikely. Once one has one BROWN WIDOW, I just read, one is likely to host many more. I am talking possible infestation here.

Personally I'd never even heard of brown widows, black widows, yes. Brown, most definitely not. Generally speaking, they won't bother you unless cornered or feeling provoked. They won't go after you like a brown recluse spider would...however, when I read that their venom can kill a child, or worse, a pet, I immediately thought of our two outdoor cats who refuse to be house pets. So out I went and killed the darn thing. They can also kill the elderly or an adult with a weak inmune system...but that is not as important.

I cringed and literally (and audibly) apologized to the poor thing prior to doing the deed. But after I read that each sac has about 18 pups inside I had no choice. Plus these guys can get in the house real easily...and, unlike their black counterparts, they are not picky as to where they live and set up their nurseries. Black widows favor damp & shady/dark spots, while the brown dudes will even set up shop in the middle of your garden. And I say your garden because they ain't staying in mine!

Doesn't reading this make you itch all over and literally feel something crawling up your ankles?

You are welcome.

Argh...there was more to share but the dreaded summer thunderstorms are here and I must unplug everything. Such is life in Central Florida...lightning capital of the U.S.A.


Should you need me you'll find me right by this nook...

10 comments:

Heiko said...

Luckily we don't have any venomous spiders here, but I got bitten very painfully on my ankle a couple of days ago. I assumed... hoped it was a hornet, but half an hour later the missus encountered an adder not far from the same spot, while my ankle kept getting bigger... Determined not to panic I sat it out, or limped it out, and the swelling and pain receded by evening. Hornet after all, phew!

GetSoiled said...

Really? You live in a paradise where the most menacing things are hornets????

Dang. That's it. We are moving. Ready up our wine glasses Mr Heiko (forget the food and beds, just drown us in wine, olive oil and maybe some of those wild asparagus you get).

Here is our list of killers where I live:

Lighting
Sharks
Alligators
Bad customer service
Brown recluse spider
Brown widow spider
Black widow spider
My people's (hispanic) loud music
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Canebrake Rattlesnake
Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake
Eastern Coral Snake
Florida Cottonmouth
Bad drivers (that means *others*, not me, of course)

I had a face to face encounter with a Florida Cottonmouth while kayaking--I was holding a branch to pass through a narrow alley...and there she wuz...staring at me, coiled & PMSing. I still don't know how I got out of it.

So there. Welcome to Florida (toothpick popping on the side of my mouth)buddy!

GetSoiled said...

Oh! yes,

Jelly fish
Hurricanes
Tornadoes
Wild fires

Oh the list keeps growing...

Mr. H. said...

Can I come too...for the wine.:)

Just to name a few, we have:

Bears

Skunks - Did you know that there are eleven species of skunks that live in Florida, I think we only have five in Idaho...interesting.

Coons...you have raccoons right?

Mountain lions

Horny Moose (they are the scariest of all:)

- and we have nasty spiders too...black widows in the basement and brown recluse in the barn.

Oh, and lots of gun toting, redneck, freaks...I'll trade you two rednecks for one gang banger?

No alligators or sharks though, I'm grateful for that.:)

GetSoiled said...

HAAAAAAAAAAAA!

You can keep the gun-totting redneck freaks! We have 'em gallore here too. I wonder what an Italian redneck sounds and acts like...Heiko? Care to illuminate us? Is it the same only dressed in the finest linens?

If you saw this video that has recently gone viral about this spinner shark one camera man caught flying/spinning right over a surfer...well, that's the beach we always go to. People get taken chunks off in knee-deep water...and if it is not that, then you got jelly fish or rip currents...but even with all of that sometimes I feel like swimming deep into the ocean when faced with the prospect of the redneck families who bring chairs, tables, stereo (oh the darn stereos...and, really, what is so wrong with listening to the sounds of nature?), grills, tents, even TVs...STAY HOME PEOPLE!!! You are making it worse for the folks who actually enjoy nature!

Oh...wow...I went off the deep end just now...where are my meds?

Mr. H. said...

TV's on the beach...now that is really, really sad.

GetSoiled said...

Indeed!

Heiko said...

We've got a couple of Texans staying in our caravan at the moment. We'd barely settled in on the first day cleaning the thing out, when gunfire rang out about 50 yards away. We saw the smoke rising from the neighbours land too! Never did found out what he was shooting, but come to think I haven't seen the wife for a while... And then there's the bad music by our neighbour Piero!

GetSoiled said...

Are you serious????? holee molee! That poor wife...she was so nice, and he, he just seemed so quite, definitely not the type who'd hurt a fly, no?

I sometimes think I'd rather dodge bullets than have to put up with loud bad music...in my case destiny is making me pay back for kissing Pablo when I was six. Now I am surrounded by hispanic peeps (my peeps, let this be known least someone gets offended...I am one of them...☺) who apparently buy their music at the cumbia place...oh and don't get me even started with the regaton! Barf bag *presto* per favore!

It makes for interesting afternoons.

GetSoiled said...

Are you serious????? holee molee! That poor wife...she was so nice, and he, he just seemed so quite, definitely not the type who'd hurt a fly, no?

I sometimes think I'd rather dodge bullets than have to put up with loud bad music...in my case destiny is making me pay back for kissing Pablo when I was six. Now I am surrounded by hispanic peeps (my peeps, let this be known least someone gets offended...I am one of them...☺) who apparently buy their music at the cumbia place...oh and don't get me even started with the regaton! Barf bag *presto* per favore!

It makes for interesting afternoons.