Blogging wasn’t in the cards

For anyone, should they actually exist, who has been stopping by and not finding any new posts, I apologize. On occasion, circumstances inhibit sitting down and working on posts, and this particular occasion was a move. We are now in a new house!

I take no credit for this whatsoever; it was all The Girlfriend’s accomplishment. Well, okay, that sounds like I didn’t even help with the move, which isn’t true at all, but what I mean by that is, it’s her house, and her finances that permitted it. She is quite pleased with it, and rightfully so. It’s in a considerably nicer neighborhood, not terribly far from the old place (which made moving a little easier,) but a lot more convenient to her work, and various useful shops. We will not be missing the old place, or the obnoxious neighbors, in any way at all.

And that goes for my own pursuits as well. I had actually planned to bring along a few of the mantises that had hatched back there, but found that a Japanese maple tree at the new place already plays host to a large number of Chinese mantises (got the Asian thing going on,) and I didn’t feel the need to introduce competition. The butterfly bush came along for transplant, along with the salvia plant and my almond tree, but the rosemary bush had grown too large to move, so we’ll have to start a new one here (and yes, we did get lots of cuttings to do this.)

Chinese mantis on Japanese maple
I was watching the almond tree with trepidation for the past few weeks, since the local white-tailed deer had a tendency to let it get fully leafed out before stripping more than half of the leaves away early in the morning; this is how they feed, browsing for tasty leaves or shoots but not killing off the provider, and then leaving it alone for a few weeks to replenish their food source before returning. My little tree, which had sprouted spontaneously from a discarded almond in the compost bin a few years back, had produced its first leaves in the spring and then been stripped several weeks ago. It had reproduced its foliage, and was due for a return visit; I figured it would get nailed right before the move, but the deer waited too long and I was able to transplant it intact.

The cats, it must be said, did not handle the move with feline grace; the more appropriate term is, “freaked out.” For a couple of days, they slunk around the new place like feral strays, jumping at every sound, and spending a lot of time deep in a closet. Eventually, they determined they were not intruding on someone else’s territory and could claim this as their own, and soon discovered the delight of stairs and a balcony overlooking the living room. A few days later when they were mellow, they were permitted to explore the screened-in back porch, which was all kinds of okay to them.

Little Girl, or is it Zoe? chilling in the window.
I, myself, am still recovering – my hands, feet, legs, and back took a beating, and of course I’m doing the typical post-move endeavor of trying to find where I packed this or that crucial thing. It doesn’t matter how organized you try to be, I think – Chaos will take over and make you dance to his discordant tune. I suspect I will get back into posting slowly, so for now I’ll just close with a small crab spider, genus Mecaphesa, that I shot during the final stages of packing. She measures 6mm across the tucked legs, so, not exactly an imposing specimen unless you’re tiny (or extremely arachnophobic.) I have spotted several interesting arthropods in the immediate vicinity, but so far have only taken the time to photograph the mantis above – I’ll try to amend that soon.

Mecaphesa crab spider in defensive posture