Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Changes of perspective

   When we first bought this house, whenever I would see rabbits hopping around the yard I always thought they were so cute. I would just sit and watch them with a smile. Having lived in the city most of my life, the majority of the rabbits I had seen were in pet stores. Sure there were random wild rabbits out and about once in a while, but they just weren't something you would see on a regular basis. "How lucky we are!" I thought, "to be surrounded by so much nature!". Then I started gardening.

   It started with a few strawberry plants. They did okay at first, but soon I noticed that they were being chewed on. I saw a rabbit out there one day and looked to find all but one of my strawberry plants totally chewed down to the ground. This was no one's fault but my own of course. I should have covered them right away when I noticed that they were being chewed on. It was at this point though, that I decided that rabbits were jerks. Yes, I know they need to eat too and all of that jazz, but here's the deal: if I am spending the time, money and energy to try and grow food for my family and you take it upon yourself to destroy my work, I don't care how cute and fuzzy you are. You and I are no longer cool.

  Then we have spiders. I don't love spiders. I don't even kind of like spiders. I'll let a daddy long leg hang out and kill any random crawlies that sneak into my house for a while, but other than that if there is a spider in my house, I'm looking for a shoe. If the spider is big enough, I'm looking for my husband. I know, I'm a wimp. I'm okay with it. Well, I guess I was okay with it until this big mama decided to make herself right at home in the borage I'd planted in my veggie garden.

"Hey, what's up? Got any steak?"
  Remember that whole thing about me growing up in the city? Up until this point, I had never randomly come across a spider like this. Being 98% sure that if I were to try and squish it with something it would probably just take it away from me and beat me with it, I went to find my husband. After poking it with a stick a few times, (really why do they do that?) he asked me if I wanted him to kill it. While inside my head I'm thinking "YES KILL IT TWICE! KILL IT LOTS! KILL IT WITH FIRE! KILL IT UNTIL IT'S ALL KINDS OF DEAD!!!!" I actually hear myself say "no, just leave it..." 
"No?!?!?" My husband and the voice inside my head ask in unison. "just leave it?!?!?"
As I stared at it's web, full of mosquitoes and other bugs I told him to leave it be.

  From that day on, my garden routine was a little different. Every day I walked out to the garden with goosebumps. My very first task was always to find the spider. It never left the borage, so it was always pretty easy to locate. Once I knew where it was, I was able to work in the garden without being too worried about randomly stumbling upon it. It's like we had an agreement. I stayed away from it, and it stayed in the borage and killed bugs. Did it kill enough bugs to make up for how much it freaked me out? Probably not, but who knows. I didn't have any problems with bugs in that garden, but I don't know how much the spider had to do with it. 

  I often tell people that gardening keeps me sane. At the end of the day, some time alone to clear my head in the garden works wonders. Now that I think about how much gardening has changed the way I think about things, I'm not so sure if "sane" is the word I should be using!

1 comment:

  1. You don't want to feed the bunnies but you are willing to chill with a spider??? I'm not so sure about you..... :)

    I'm glad that gardening brings you peace. So much in fact that you can share your space with arachnids. *shudder*

    I'll have to tell you about my experience with a family of black widows one day.