I can answer today’s blog prompt easily, because it fits in so well with what I wanted to talk about, anyway. If you didn’t already know this about me, I’ll tell you what I do that brings me joy: it’s discovering new things about the nature around me. Today was a great example.
Today I’d intended to relax and recover from yesterday, but the life around here kept pulling me in. I’ve been careful where I go lately, since scorpions appear to be this year’s plague. I found one in my bath towel, then one in an outdoor chair cushion, and finally one out in the grass, where they should be. That didn’t bring much joy, though.
What brought me great joy today were two discoveries. First, I found a plant I’d never noticed before!
It’s tiny! I know I’ve seen the plant, but never these beautiful flowers. I was extra disappointed to see it has no Wikipedia article. It appears to be native to the southwestern US and northern Mexico. I just adore it’s secret beauty.
The second nature observation came when Anita and I were sitting by the pool drinking wine, since I was too tired to cook a big dinner. Anita said something like what the hell is that, and I looked over to see a weird creature.
We quickly realized it was a wasp dragging a large wolf spider. It was making progress, too. At one point the wasp left, so I could get good photos of them separately. The first thing I did was find out what kind of wasp it was. I knew it was pretty, with a striped abdomen and blue-black wings.
Well, duh, it was a spider wasp! I looked deeper into these wasps (so glad I had my phone right there) and found out this was a female wasp, and that these wasps prey on large wolf spiders. They take them to their nests, which are shallow depressions in the dirt, and lay their eggs in the spider. Mmm.
Anita said I should get a video, so I did, forgetting to turn the camera sideways. The link is on Facebook because I can’t get it to load here. But it’s cool to see how fast the wasp drags the spider and how she climbs stairs with it. We were glad when she finally found the edge of the patio!
That was really fun. Besides that, we got to see a great blue heron right in the other side of the fence, and, right after I played the call of the yellow billed cuckoo for Anita, one flew over and made its call. I hope it hadn’t heard me.
I had other fun with domestic animals, too. The chickens were something else. Sigh. I found a small mouse in their feed, so I got it in a cup and tossed it outside, thinking I’d done a good deed. Oops. I looked out the door and realized Buttercup had instantly pounced on it. Who needs a cat, right?
In a cuter chicken anecdote, I was hanging out with Bertie Lee, the smartest chicken, and she drank out of my cup of water. I love watching them drink. She won’t let me pet her, but Billie Idyll will. They are all so different!
The horses were glad I was home and back into our normal routine. I found them conferring about it today.
Apache wasn’t even grumpy from working so hard yesterday! That brought me joy, too.