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February 8, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Back to Black

Spider. Horror movie poster. (1955. Reynold Brown. USPD: artist life,

The threat was real: Hairy mouths, red glowing eyes, and all.(USPD/

Black Widow spiders. Their fault.

I have trouble killing live things. Blame the Black Widows.

At the old farm place, a huge, ancient Magnolia tree stood opposite the front porch of the grey wood framed house. That broad canopy provided much needed summer shade. Wide branches, low forks, and knobby lumps were easy to reach for even the youngest kid. No better castle in the sky or fort perch to drop water balloons from.

So we were close to furious (as close as we were allowed) when Dad announced the Magnolia was off-limits for climbing: there was a big web and Black Widow spiders.

Flowers. Early spring weeds and clover. (© image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Looks are always deceiving: secretly gathering forces to attack while under cover of natural. (© image)

Kids can be impressively quick and logical when fighting for something important.

“It’s spiders. They’re little. Just get a broom to knock down the web and smush the spider.”

“No. Leave it alone.”

“But it’s daaaaaangerous. It’s a Black Widow. It could kiiiiiilllll someone.” (Told you. Debate opportunity? We were determined.)

“No. It’s not going the jump out of the tree and chase you.”

“But it might drop on someone. The wind could blow it out.” (Well, we figured that might not fly as it was Summer and there was no wind, but any angle worth a try…)


“But someone might accidentally brush up against it. It’s deeeadly.”

“No. Keep your hands out of the tree and stay away from it.”

“But it’s taking away aaaaalllll our fun!”

“No. We don’t kill things because they are ruining our fun. We don’t kill things simply because it’s in the way. The spiders aren’t hurting anything; just living their lives. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone. There are plenty of other trees to climb. Go find something else to do.”

So we were forced – forced – to share with stupid spiders.

(And forced to make exaggerated duck downs with hands over our heads wearing fake, fearful expressions when under the Magnolia…for a few hours anyway until it was obvious we were the only ones looking.)

Flower Wild flower dandelion puff among spring weeds (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

All puffed up, they are. Well, we’ll see. If you can’t stand the wind, get out of the field. (© image)

The annual Spring dilemma is already here: killing weeds.

They have flowers! Bees rejoice at the dandelions, clovers, onion flowers….(Insert the endless list – and guilt trip – here.)

“It’s just a plant in the wrong place” – (Nothing will convince me there’s an appropriate place for Dollar Weed.)

Hey! Forget the killing poison. Plant relocation plan!

I just tell myself if I wade out when the yard is swampy ground is wet, and carefully, cleanly jerk pull weeds out roots and all, that when the weeds find themselves tossed in a landfill, they will find their roots, stretch-out, and happily bloom where they are planted.

See? A helpful plant assist.

Hard to determine when it’s best to just walk away.

(Oh,  phooey. Wear widow’s wǣd, if you must, but dispatch those darn weeds before they take over…)

Hard to take the farm out of the heart.

Maybe not such a bad thing

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Flowers. Yellow clover flowers among spring weeds. (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

The beautiful can suffocate. Ask slow emerging grass or any divorce lawyer. (© image)


  1. easyweimaraner / Feb 8 2019 6:50 am

    aaaaah a post for me… I know it is deadly and it can kill me and I rather run like the wind… directly in the next spider web LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 8 2019 6:57 pm

      We can all identify attempt to escape being webbed is so universal – You just worry some spider is hitchhiking home in your hair! Arrrgh. Thanks for weaving up a comment for here


  2. Kate Crimmins / Feb 8 2019 8:09 am

    We don’t kill spiders here either. They have a job to do and it benefits us. However if I find one in the shower with me when I’m naked, all bets are off. A girl has limits.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 8 2019 7:02 pm

      With the mosquito air forces we deal with, spiders are welcomed – outside…oh, OK the Daddy Long Legs are allowed in the garage. But inside – noooo – snatch and grab relocation program! (In the shower? Nooooo – that would be learn to swim time for spider – and hope you make it out the drain to a ledge somewhere else…tell your spider friends: it’s a no go zone!)
      Shiver. still shiver over spiders in the shower. Thanks for watering down a bad spider bad spider comment

      Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres / Feb 8 2019 8:32 am

    Wise parent, that one. Everyone has a job to do, even the Black Widow. I never really have been afraid of spiders, but I was raised by a mother who was a proponent of see-spider-smack-spider. I’ve gotten over that now, except when I find a really big hairy one sharing my space on a boat. Well, except for the jumping spiders. They get to live, no matter how big they are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 8 2019 7:05 pm

      I hate those hairy mouth/fangs – creepy, but if they stay over there, I’ll leave them alone. Live and let live – more common among rural folks than city ones.
      Thanks for adding a webbed comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ally Bean / Feb 8 2019 10:20 am

    I don’t hate on spiders until a spider hates on me by biting me when I’m out gardening. Other than that I like them, eating the mosquitoes, making webs that I can photograph, doing the things, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 8 2019 7:08 pm

      During mosquito season, I’ll even put off trimming hedges to avoid damaging a big web. It’s always amazing how fast one little spider can weave such a huge web….most of them are smart enough now to put them above racing through the brush dog height.
      I still haven’t mastered the art of web photography – light and moisture has to be just right….of course if I used an actual camera it might help. HAHA Thanks for draping a comment in this corner


  5. Anne Mehrling / Feb 8 2019 4:23 pm

    I read through the spider post as quickly as possible. I loathe spiders!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 8 2019 7:11 pm

      I like them outside. But inside, creepy…even if I manage to relocate one outside, I worry there are a lot of tiny baby spiders wandering around looking for mom…in the dark when we are asleep they may march over…well, you get the idea. Thanks for braving the web and leaving a comment


  6. sustainabilitea / Feb 8 2019 5:25 pm

    Not a big fan of spiders, although they do eat other things that I dislike. As Ally mentioned, they make those gorgeous webs that photograph so well when there’s some dew on them. However, when riding a tall horse through a forest, you’re apt to get those webs right across the face and then the next day it seems, they’re back again. Completely not fair!! But tarantulas and other big hairy spiders I’d rather not see. As for weeds, dandelions are great in the wild, but they take up too much space belonging to grass when in the yard. I try to dig them out rather than spraying, but sometimes they just take over and then it’s simply war and I will win…for at least a time.


    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 8 2019 7:18 pm

      I think both the dandelions and the clover wait until you turn your back and go inside before they spring back into action. Constant battle – knee deep in clover is a reality as it’s been too wet to mow in some of our dog walk trails. And when it gets the tall, you can’t see what is among it…bees are not a problem, it’s the uncollected dog poop some people “forget” to bag. Makes yard work not so much fun sometimes. I always loved the crimson clover at the farm – that lovely smell – here we’ve have a white snowball flowered one and one with tiny yellow flowers – cows probably don’t turn down any varieties.
      I wonder if cows even notice spider webs they barge through. Animals of the ignorance is bliss herd.
      Thanks for hitting the trail to comment here

      Liked by 1 person

      • sustainabilitea / Feb 8 2019 8:21 pm

        What I was want to know is if they bag it but don’t take it away, does that count? I don’t think so but some people seem too.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 9 2019 4:35 pm

          Especially delightful is the dahling that bags it then tosses it into a tree. Seriously? geesch…


          • sustainabilitea / Feb 9 2019 5:30 pm

            Oh, yes, we’ve having some of those, too. Grrrrr!


  7. colonialist / Feb 9 2019 12:17 am

    Spiders and snakes and scorpions I will avoid bumping off, but I draw the line at flies.
    Dandelions? That is a measure to protect endangered lawns!


  8. Littlesundog / Feb 10 2019 8:44 am

    Spiders are appreciated here, but the black widow and recluse, not so much. Dandelions? We love them and other supposed weeds. I learned long ago, from Daisy deer and her wild friends of the woodlands, that weeds are food and of medicinal worth with wildlife. I like the look of the yellow sea of dandelions in spring and summer, and also the purple of henbit and vetch. Some of us see the beauty in weeds.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 11 2019 7:29 am

      Suddenly saw some vetch in the nursery dept. yesterday – it’s such a lovely plant. We used to transplant it from the farm and haul it home each spring. Crimson clover all makes the world wonderful each spring. But Dollar weed? Ugh. chokes out yard grasses – and I am done replace big swatches of dead grass…so spent there 3 minutes of sun yesterday ( and more of cloudy/foggy) carefully pulling up dollar weed by the roots out of the swampy ground (that are tangled around grass roots. UGH) Landscaping is much easier with fields and no HOA letters HAHA. Thanks for letting us escape to your world to breathe free.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. rivergirl1211 / Feb 13 2019 9:21 am

    Weeds. The bane of my springtime existence! No matter how much you pull, dig or spray… they’re like your mother in law. Always popping their heads up where they’re not wanted…


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