What you see here is part of the little courtyard area in front of our house. I have no idea why the previous owners did not pave the entire thing. You can see the most of it is a jigsaw puzzle of pavers that look very nice. But there is that tiny bit at the top that is just gravel. Kind of odd.
Still it's almost like having an extra room in the house. You cannot see it in the photo but there are a couple of comfy places to sit in this courtyard, my little potted garden and an umbrella for shade on a sunny day in addition to what you see here. It's a perfect place to sit and read or have a quiet conversation, or just relax outside watching the birds, the lizards and the butterflies who also like the courtyard. Occasionally there will be a bunny or a squirrel short cutting through there too. It's a lovely peaceful place.
See up on the end where the white fencing is? That helps to support a giant bougainvillea that spills bright red and purple blossoms into the courtyard. And the first big green shrub looking thing to it's left is a hibiscus that produces giant bright red blossoms. The long hedge produces fragrant white blossoms when it has a mind to. and the tall green and white things on the other side of the path have tiny lavender flowers now and again. When everything is in blossom at once it is a cacophany of colour! I absolutely love it.
And most of it kind of takes care of itself. Oh there is a little trimming needed one in awhile but for the most part, my only job is to enjoy it. With one exception. The one growing thing in there is does require a bit more care is the hibiscus. I do have to prune it more frequently and with more care and it does need some fertilizer. Now, personally I try to avoid any chemically stuff, so I did some reading and coffee grounds turn out to be excellent for Hibiscus. Hurrah! So at least once a week, I take out cooled grounds from Tim's coffees (yes plural) and sprinkle them near the roots. It's not a difficult job and it makes a difference.
So what does any of this have to do with anything? Well, today's story is about the guard at the gate. Oh wait, you cannot see it here so I'll show you a closer up photo of the issue.
Oh dear, you still cannot see it, can you? Let me get a little closer.
There she is. This self appointed guardian has decided that I shall not pass. Almost daily, she strings a web that goes completely across the walking path to reach the hibiscus. Spider webs are sometimes hard to see. The light has to be just right . If not, blam! I have walked right into the sticky web. I am too big for her to eat. She and I both know that. But still, I really really do not want to be blasting my way through someone else's house and then peeling bits of web off my person on every hibiscus pruning and/or fertilizing occasion.
Not just because it's icky, although it is. But also because, she spent a lot of time building that web and now I have just destroyed it. I feel bad.
It is my understanding that most spiders build new webs every day. So I suppose I could cavalierly just say, "well she is going to build another one tomorrow anyway". But what if she hadn't caught her dinner yet? Now she has to wait to eat until tomorrow. I would not appreciate that if it were me.
I kind of marvel at the engineering involved. How does that tiny spider manage to get her web all the way across the path. When you think about how small she is, the gap between the hibiscus and the plants on the other side (I don't know what they are called) is a giant abyss! A Canyon! That's what it's like to her, the Grand Canyon! How did she get across that thing? Did she jump? She is one heck of a jumper if she did that. Or was it more of a Tarzan Swing from one side to the other? Maybe she just climbs down, walks across the path, up a plant on the other side and begins again. I have no idea. It's a big web however she did it. I've read that they generally like to build large webs with the idea that the larger the web, the more likely they are to catch their prey. I'm pretty sure I am not their prey.
I have no objections to this spider living in my courtyard. Providing, of course, they she remains in the courtyard. I know that this little spider is gobbling up all of the nasty bugs that I do not want to deal with. But we have got to come to some sort of understanding here.
I need to fertilize and occasionally prune that hibiscus. Which means I have to get back to that shrub. Or tree. Or whatever it is that a Hibiscus actually is.
I have tried reasoning with her. She is not reasonable. I have explained the issue, at length, and suggested the perhaps she could confine her web spinning to one side of the path or the other. But every day, there is another web strung across the path. It appears that I have only three choices: I can try to belly crawl under the web. I can plow through the web, and be known forever after by spiders near and far as Sam the Web Destroyer. Or I can not fertilize or prune the hibiscus.
None of those solutions appeals to me. If anyone has any other suggestions, I am listening.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.