This morning when I first looked out, I saw what appeared to be a large spider on the cords of the hammock. Since the critters are allowed to use the hammock whenever I’m not in it, I didn’t really think anything of it.
The NWS had issued flash flood advisories (multiple!) for us, but the sky itself only issued a few sprinkles. That must mean that somebody nearby is getting most of my rain. So knowing that my garden will not be able to rely on just what falls from the sky hereabouts, I went around the south side of the house to see what I could see about the plumbing situation. The immediate idea was to get water moving to the front yard without geysers forming in the back yard. There’s a plastic box sunk in the ground out there marked “sprinkler valves: lift here”, so I did. Inside I found many stones and some dirt and a black widow spider. No problem, I knew she’d probably be there, so I wore gloves. Black widows are shy though, and she ran into a corner and stayed there while I was goofing around. No confrontation necessary. Moving some of the stones, I also saw some wires and some black cylindrical things like electrical capacitors, but no valves.
But there were plenty of valves and other water-works nearby, so I shut the box and started turning those valves. I successfully turned off the geysers in the back yard, but then discovered one in the front yard that no amount of turning any of the various available spigots could affect. So I shut the whole mess down and decided to think about it later. I probably need a new faucet in the front. Drat!
To vent my frustration, I spent an hour pulling dead wood off the mesquites on the south side of the house. Sometime when it cools off, I should go gather up all the deadwood around the yard for the fireplace this winter. I wonder if it counts as “coppicing” if the wood is dead before you cut it off the tree.
A huge ocotillo died and fell over at the southeast corner of the house recently. They make good stakes & fencing, but I have to cut it apart and lay them out so they don’t curl too much. But my hatchet needed sharpening, so I did that instead.
Finally getting to the point of this: when I put down the hatchet over by the hammock, I saw a giant mesquite bug, and realized what that spider-looking thing on the hammock line was. Sure enough, it was the empty shell of a mesquite bug nymph! Missed getting the picture of the shell, but here’s the bug:
Now those are real wings! Enlarge it & you can see the veins all the way to the edges. Very cool!