Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's Starting To Feel Like Fall

Today is cool and overcast, a good day for yard work. Rob decided to trim the hedge in the front of the house. He disappeared into the garage, but it was too quiet. After an hour or so he came in and sat down across from me in the office. I could tell something was wrong.

It seems he plugged the trimmer into a long cord and plugged that into an outlet on the porch. Then he approached the hedge. He didn't notice that the cord was wrapped around the trimmer and promptly cut through the cord.

He went into the garage and cut off the damaged cord and attached a new end to it and walked back up the hill to the hedge. He plugged the cord into the outlet, but when he
went to plug the other end into the trimmer, he found that he had attached the wrong type of plug.

He walked back down the hill to the garage and found a different cord, walked back up the hill and started over. Everything was plugged in, the cord was free of the trimmer and he approached the hedge. No power. He had fried the trimmer.

We took a quick trip to the home improvement store and came home with a new trimmer. He plugged it in, approached the hedge for the third time and turned it on. No power. When he cut the cord, he had popped a breaker.

Our house was built by an electrician. One needs a GPS unit to locate which breakers control which outlets. To give an example, we have outlets every six feet all over the house. No need for extension cords in this house. We have 50 telephone jacks and 48 cable tv jacks. The master bedroom alone has six cable tv jacks.

After wandering from room to room, throwing switches to see which lights were on and which were off, we found a breaker in the garage that we didn't even know about, and we've lived here nine years. We got the power running again and I can hear the trimmer running outside the office window as I type this.

While looking over the yard I came across this fellow on the back gate. I saw the neat zig-zag pattern in his web before I noticed him hanging nearby. There is also one living on the front of the fence and I looked him up . He's a yellow garden spider and he's one of the good guys.

This is the largest one I've seen so far. He measures approximately 2 1/2 inches. He's a pretty impressive spider. I found out after Rob and I married that he's afraid of spiders. If he finds one in the bathtub, he calls me to come remove it. We do have some nasty ones here in Missouri, but we also have some very good ones. I've taught him to appreciate the garden spiders and now he looks for them and shares them with me.

The same spider, different angle.

While trimming the hedge, Rob found another yellow garden spider. This one is a little smaller, maybe 1 3/4 inches. He spotted the zig-zag web first.

Rob found this fellow stretched between two bushes. I'm not sure what he is. He's all curled up and refused to move while we were watching. He's a big boy, whatever he is.

The birds planted these little blue flowers and they're trying to take over the garden. I can pull piles of them out today and tomorrow they will be back again. I found this interesting bug feeding on the dead butterfly bush flowers. I don't know what he is.

While we were at the store this morning, we bought a young river birch tree to plant in Lucy's memory. It looks pretty healthy and the weather is cooler, so the time seems right. We stuck it inside the fence until we can get it planted. Of course, the dogs noticed it and Lucy's brothers and sisters all checked it out.

Monty approved.

Bailey and Noah checking the new tree.

Lola and Tess think it looks good.

Norma Jean wanted to taste it. I discourage that. We'll need to put a small fence around it once it's planted to give it a chance to grow. These dogs have been known to pull saplings out of the ground to use for chew sticks.

The dogs all love to help us with the yard work, but it goes a lot quicker if they don't help. Still a cool day like this is perfect for them to play. Fudge and I have to practice some obedience moves and I have a bunch of office work to tackle. Then there is that list that doesn't seem to be getting any shorter. I could use a few more hours.