the little wild kingdom

flowerbug

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i did get the desk cleaned off and some spider webs cleaned removed from the decorations in the window and on the window sill. i only found one spider. one! in all that mess i expected a bit more action.

in other cleaning and organizing news i went back over the area i did my spider hunt (Nov 23) and found six small spiders so i'm glad i did it because it means i've kept after them and made progress on knocking down the population. Mom said she has some webs in her room she wants me to check and i will but not tonight... it is interesting to me because i'm also using this as a way to learn more about spider habits, reproduction and how they manage to survive in a house (i'm pretty sure that they do eat each other).
 
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flowerbug

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Pretty sure you're right about that!

just one spider had six egg sacs, each egg sac can contain between 50 - 200 eggs... yes, they must eat each other or our house would be full of them... well it is getting to be too many hence my forays into spider hunting... :) i'm so glad though that the tiny spiders, even if they escape they don't make really annoying webs vs. the common house spider webs that are very stringy and run all over the place. that is also why i do not mind the cellar spiders as much because they are so wispy you hardly know they are there in the corners - you have to look pretty closely to see them.
 

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more spider hunting today. i noticed a few new webs in previously cleared territory so i went back and searched to find the new arrivals or ones i missed from before. no new egg sacs anyplace around those, three spiders, one probably a female that would have eventually had some babies. all three were different species. then i did some more searching around to clear more territory and found one spider that could have been a female but not sure as it was smaller.

then i went into Mom's room and hunted down the one that Mom thought was there but she did not see it. i'm glad i did because it was a female and had one or two egg sacs. i did not find any other spiders, but she'd removed a lot of the decorations that she used to have along the wall that were sitting on the floor so that always makes it easier (and gives them less places to hide). to find only one spider in about 30 ft of checking along the walls, in the corners and behind the doors was pretty good - i expected more. but then again i am not looking up. :) stuff to do for another time.
 

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more spider hunting this past weekend. interesting for sure. found a few more and then rechecked some areas that i'd already gone through to make sure there weren't any new ones taking over again. glad i did because i caught four tiny ones that eventually would have grown up...

mainly i was looking up further and found one hiding in the upper right corner of the patio door that had three egg sacs. got that removed the next day and then checked the day after and already a new tiny one had take up residence. might have been one of the Momma's young ones because it was the same species. so, yes, caught that one and removed it too.

they can be tricky for where they hide so rechecking is worth it because they may leave a new dead bug underneath or have some new webs which give them away.
 

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the last two bean packages are finished and ready to go out in today's mail to people who wanted them. :) i hope they get them in time for Christmas, but even if they don't they'll be like Christmas presents because they have a lot of different beans in them. :)

in one package i took samples of three different sub-collections along with including a bunch of my favorites. so that is easily over a hundred bean varieties.

the other one wasn't quite so many but perhaps over twenty different beans in that one.

it looks like a tornado went through my room though now with all the boxes scattered around and shelves cleaned off so i could get at things.

after today's garden club meeting i'll have time to go through things and start taking some more pictures and ponder what i need to weed out of the collection and what samples i can start making up for the seed swap to go along with the ones i've already got left over from last time.
 

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I love to look at the speckled or multi colored ones.👍

i love so much about them it's very hard for me to say what i like the most. visually, tactile, sound and then also the growing plants, flowers, seeing the beans start to form, eating them or letting them dry down, picking, shelling, sorting...

it's very satisfying to have a big pile of beans and to put my hands in there and start picking out the interesting ones.

based upon what i've done so far for the past 15 years i do have a knack for selecting out the beans that are likely to indicate they have been crossed with something else.

last year i selected about a hundred beans from my Purple Dove bean harvest (i don't know how many beans that was but it was 10-15lbs - maybe 30,000 - 60,000 beans) and planted those and now i have some very interesting further projects to replant and hope those will cross again with something edible and get back to bush growth habit too - we'll see... :)

i may also have at least one edible out cross from the Painted Pony beans (they were edible when i sampled them this season) - i just need to verify that this season along with the growth habit, flower color, color of the pods and seed coat pattern. all distinct enough this year that i sure hope it does repeat. this i think is the first edible bean that has shown up as an outcross on the first season grown.
 

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spiders again! in two ways...

the first way was going back over previously cleared territories and making sure there were no new residents. i found five, two of them were adolescents and three were tiny. they give themselves away so easily, i just look for either the bodies of bugs underneath them or a new web.

the second way was by feeding my worm farm and making sure things were ok in the buckets. a few buckets have enough small spiders in them that when i take the fine fabric mesh off the top the entire bucket top is one woven web cover which is full of hundreds to thousands of very tiny spiders. they do not get very big so that is the maximum size they will get (a few mm). the ultra tiny ones are mere specks (but they do not get out of the buckets through the fine fabric mesh because i'd know it). anyways, all the buckets were checked and topped off with food and bean pods for the creatures to feast upon. i was glad that i also finished up putting all the bean pods from shelling beans out in the buckets so they will easily be fully digested by mid-May.

i did not see a single fungus gnat, i did see a few earwigs and some other bugs i need to look up, also plenty of wood lice which i do not mind being in there at all as they will eat the bean pods too along with the worms. all together it's a functional ecosystem in a bucket and it's working out ok this year (much better than last year).
 

flowerbug

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sometime you would think i'd get pictures of opening up a bucket and seeing all those spiders and how i keep them from all escaping. a few do try to run off but them being so small they don't get far very fast and also the web layer tends to peel right off and stay put when i take off the fabric cover so they aren't disturbed too much until i start putting things in the bucket or moving things around so i have room to put scraps in the bucket, but if i take one of my big metal spoons and go around edge right at the start that wraps them all up in their own webs and then i can do whatever i want with that (innoculate a new bucket or bury it with food scraps - enough will get back out eventually to start their webs all over again).

i don't get pictures because i'd need eight arms to get everything done all at once. see, spiders are smarter in that ways... :)
 

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