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Cactus and rattlesnake days

Updated: Jul 20


The dead tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes) at the hacienda driveway entrance raises some questions.

When first I stepped out and over it, I thought it was alive. Only after it hadn’t moved for a few hours, did I look closer and realize that it seemed injured, was probably dead.


Why die on the doorstep? Was it placed there? The pesky neighbourhood cats who inhabit the garden at night, come to mind as culprits, but do cats toy with desert tarantulas?


The mean spirited perpetually drunk neighbour or one of his mean spirited, perpetually drunk, leering and lurching drinking buddies? Not likely: it would have required them to trespass. I’m way too light a sleeper and situationally aware for that to happen. (I hope).

Equally as battered as the tarantula, is this zinnia flower discovered today. It doesn’t look like Queen Lime but is where, according to my garden diary, the Queen Lime zinnia seeds were sown.


These cactus and rattlesnake days, the dog days of summer, have us all a bit frazzled: a little less than our best selves. The heat will do that.

Except the grapes. Though tiny, they are so very sweet and so very abundant. I breakfast on a portion of them each morning, standing out there under the trellis, selecting the biggest and plumpest, as the sun rises and the air still remembers the cool silk of desert night.

Never mind days of unrelenting heat, dead tarantulas on the doorstep and flowers that look nothing like the seed catalogue promised, eating sweet grapes off the vine at dawn in a garden of earthly delight makes up for them a hundred times and more.






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