The Upside of not Mowing Your Lawn

June 19th, 2007 | Uncategorized

deer face

Pretty deer will come do it for you. I found this one browsing on my jewel weed this morning.

4 Responses to “The Upside of not Mowing Your Lawn”

  1. g-lo says:

    Comment restore:

    47 Responses to “the upside of not mowing your lawn”

    1. Ellen Orleans Says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Gorgeous photo. Boy, do I miss ferns. One of the oldest plant forms on earth.

    2. Andrew B Says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    The link from the word “deer” is malformed, both on the home page and on this page. The one from the image is ok.

    3. sunicarus Says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 10:39 pm


    4. Feminista Says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    Doe,a deer…
    I could use a goat to “mow” my backyard; unfortunately,he or she would probably eat the flowers,vegetables,raspberries as well.

    5. Aunt Soozie Says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    Andrew…the link is “malformed”?
    I love that. It’s a good day for words and wildlife.
    I just saw a huge spider on my front porch.

    I had to call my daughter out of bed to come see it. I tried to get my ex (who had come by to see the child)to smoosh it when she left to go home.

    Daughter said, “NO MOMMA! Don’t kill it!”
    then she warned, “Don’t let it get in the house Momma.”
    I looked at the screen door and motioned to her how it was closed tight, the door flush with the frame and said, “How could it get in? The door is closed?”
    “They have lots of ways”.


    Anyhow, now I’ll be sleeping in socks, longjohns and a hat with a flashlight and flyswatter on the nightstand. Did I mention it’s hot and humid here this evening?

    I did some yardwork this weekend;dug up an old overgrown bush (don’t even go there Maggie) and bought some new shrubs and annuals. I keep wondering if I transported the spider here from one of the garden centers or if it lost it’s home when I pulled out the old shrub and now it’s mad at me…

    6. Aunt Soozie Says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Oh, and my daughter said it was a Wolf Spider.
    I want to doubt her but from experience I know she’s usually right about stuff like that.
    Last time my paramour and I took her to the science museum she provided a narrative so we didn’t have to read the captions under the displays.
    It was kinda like this…
    Isn’t that cute(I smile at the paramour as the kid explains something to us)she thinks she knows what that is.
    and then I say,
    come here, honey.
    Let’s read…oh, yeah, okay, you’re right, nevermind.

    7. Aunt Soozie Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 12:03 am

    just googled Wolf Spider, yep.
    It’s harmless but just looking at the photos made me feel like throwing up. Is that normal?

    8. shadocat Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Ooooh Wolf Spiders! They are truly heinous looking! How could anything that looks that evil be harmless?

    9. Not Maggie Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 12:48 am

    Dear Auntie SuZ –

    Way back when i was a wee little girl, I jinxed myself to be scared of spiders. As in terrified. (I read it in some book and got the notion that it would be cute or feminine or something. True confession.) Not as in throwing up, but as in frozen out of my mind. I think it was a projection – i still don’t know of what.

    When I was 26, I stood behind my (much younger, fledgling butch) first girlfriend and took deep breaths and peered around and just looked at a spider on its web (we were on a boat and there were lots of them). This was her idea and only do-able with her calm, steady, gentle encouragement.

    Yesterday, for the first time in over 30 years, I picked up a Daddy (don’t even go there sweetie) Long Legs by one of his many spindly legs and took him outside.

    It might be another thirty before I can brave a Wolf Spider, but I’m working on it….

    Your daughter sounds amazing and wonderful.

    And the deer is beautiful.

    I always thought mowing the lawn was a waste of time and a deliberate bougie imperative invented to keep people from thinking about what was really going on in the world (I had a lot of time to work out this theory as an adolescent mowing my parents’ lawn).

    Hmm… sounds like a Mo-ism, huh?

    10. Aunt Soozie Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 1:21 am

    Yeah, I thought my mom hads kids just so she’d have servants to wash the dishes…

    11. Aunt Soozie Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 1:25 am

    “had” kids

    I thought about picking up a daddy longlegs yesterday
    that was walking on my car…
    but, he got off by himself…
    (Do I even have to say don’t go there?)

    12. Defining My Self Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 2:08 am

    Depressingly, the *correct* name for daddy longlegs is harvestmen. Can’t win for losing. However, I find them fascinating because when they cluster in those big intertwined masses, you can get them to do the wave by banging on the wall near one side of the mass, and watch the reaction travel through them to the other side. They supposedly also have the most toxic venom of any arachnid (if they are arachnids, technically) but they are harmless to humans because their mouths are too small (not going there).

    On a trip to Mexico in my 20s, I imagined myself to be fluent in Spanish. Near the ruins at Tula, I saw a small Mexican girl peering into a rock with a hole passing through it. I bent down to look in the hole with her, and it was full of — phoebes, let’s call them, phoebelonglegs.

    To be friendly, I said in my version of Spanish, That’s a lot of spiders, eh?

    She looked at me solemnly and shook her head. I pointed to them again and said No, truly, they are spiders, just a lot of them all together.

    She replied, in a worried tone, No, they’re not.

    I squatted down next to her and said Look, honey, I’m not trying to trick you, those things really are spiders.

    She backed up two steps and burst into tears. Her mother materialized suddenly, glaring at me. Now pretty worried myself, I stood up and said I’m so sorry, I was just trying to show her all the spiders.

    Her mother bent over, keeping an eye on me the nutjob, looked in the hole, then stared at me as a range of expressions crossed her face. Finally she said You’re not from here, are you?

    I said no.

    She said What’s in that hole there are spiders. Not oranges. Then she carried her little girl away.

    In Spanish, spiders are arañas. Oranges are naranjas.

    13. kate Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 2:49 am

    oh dear, deers! i love them so, plus the ferns can be quite pretty. the most i get in my city garden are frogs–10 tiny thumb-size ones madly hopping away so i wouldn’t mow them–oh and last week, the teeniest, tiniest rabbit i have ever seen–the size of my palm! of course, unlike you, i never have a camera near to get these things on record.

    14. Alex K Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 3:29 am

    @Defining My Self: Thirty years ago, in Kyoto, I turned up for an hour with my language teacher after taking a half-day to visit a local temple famous for its azalea gardens.

    (Language teacher: Iron-grey hair, late sixties. ALWAYS kimono, NEVER Western garb. Rigour rigour rigour. Me: Floppy loose-limbed gawky TALL twenty-year-old redhead, a walking offence against Japanese norms.)

    Japanese-language conversation began. What had we done since the last lesson? I had been to such-and-such a temple, I told her (proud of myself for being so Japanese! going to look at flowers!), and, oh, monosukogu kirei deshita ne, saite iru hitsuji wa, how beautiful the hitsuji were in bloom!

    She lost it. Guffawed. Bent over laughing. NEVER before, NEVER after, but what a moment…

    “Hitsuji” is sheep. “Tsutsuji” is azalea.

    15. Defining My Self Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 3:52 am

    Love it, Alex K! I can just see it. Bloomin’ sheep.

    16. Pam I Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 4:57 am

    Look, if I can do this, anyone can:

    It’s enabled by the power of the group rather than the hypnotherapy/CBT: in four hours, going from telling each other my-worst-most-trapped-experience tales, to saying, go on, just touch its back leg a little bit. And doing it. Then picking the damn things up. It can be done. I did it.

    The real ones we got to practice on (later in my picture sequence) are correctly known as wolf spiders here, the common house spider. Sounds like yours may get bigger Aunt Soozie, our very biggest ones are maybe 3Åç with legs. (Maybe that’s just how they measure with added adrenalin.)

    Never squoosh them. They are our friends. UK estimate – annually, they eat the body weight of the human population here in bugs + stuff.

    17. Pam I Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 5:04 am

    Er – not one human each. The trillions of them combined, that is.

    18. meg Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 7:24 am

    sometimes I think it’s a pity they don’t eat humans.. *darkly*

    19. Pam I Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 7:33 am

    No, it’s ants that do that. Apparently, more than worms.
    Why do I remember these things?

    I wonder how bugs are affected by the toxic stuff used in embalming? Does it biodegrade in time? Maybe AB would know.

    20. Ginjoint Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 8:30 am

    My high school Spanish teacher told us she once gave a speech (to native Spanish speakers) that had something to do with nuns (”monjas” in Spanish.) Only she accidentally kept referring to them as “monas” – female monkeys.

    21. NLC Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 8:44 am

    (In my youth we knew them as “Granddaddy Longlegs”)

    But to answer a question above, no, they’re not spiders/arachnids since thy only have six legs. (The second set of “legs” –which are longer than the others– are actually a pair of feelers.)

    22. Eva Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Spiders and deer, oh my! Lovely photo.
    I have an annually recurring batch of spiders living in the eves of my porch…some of which get bellies as big as nickles, and are a light green-yellow. There are probably nine or so, of varying sizes, at the height of the season. I have visitors who ask after “my” spiders. One summer I warned a repairman to be careful of the spiders, that is, not to brush them away intentionally, as the summer before one had done that “to get them out of the way”, but then admitted he just didn’t like them.
    However, I don’t like to be surprised by spiders, and if one was crawling on me (which happened last week) I will probably not react calmly. Although I’ll try really hard to get it outside, or away from me without killing it.

    23. chewy Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Have you seen Louise Bourgeois’ Spider sculptures?

    24. van Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Only she accidentally kept referring to them as “monas” – female monkeys.

    LOL!!! For some reason I find this extremely hilarious; oh, my eyes are watering.

    Monkeys, hee!

    25. van Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 9:29 am

    AB, much prettier than a goat, at least 😉

    26. Alex the Bold Says:

    June 19th, 2007 at 9:32 am

    There are deer in New Jersey. Once, there were four of them on the edge of the apartment complex, standing around in the small patch of wooded land near the Dumpsters. Sort of a deer coffee break.

    What does one offer a deer as a snack? Carrots? Peanuts? Any ideas? (Certainly not venison.)

    27. Ginjoint Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 9:38 am

    For a Jersey deer, I’d suggest a pack of cigarettes, or maybe some gold chains.

    28. Ginjoint Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Wait, I meant the gold chains for them to wear, not eat…oh, fuck, nevermind.

    29. martha Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Female monkeys and blooming sheep remind me of being lost somewhere in Namur, Belgium once, working up my courage to approach a gendarme and ask in halting French if he could please tell me how to get to the railroad station. He, like the aforementioned Japanese language teacher, doubled over laughing. Finally he asked me if I meant “la gare,” which is “railroad station.” It seems that I’d asked him how to get to the war (le guerre).

    30. Pam I Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Ms. Bourgeois certainly has caught the essence of spider-ness. It’s all the the angle of the knee…

    31. DaneGreat Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Jewel weed! Did you know that stuff is awesome for getting rid of poison ivy or poison oak? If you think you’ve accidentally brushed against some PI or PO, you can take a leaf of jewel weed, chew it and put it against the spot, and it’ll either stop itching, or it won’t start. Don’t let the deer get *all* of it!

    32. louise Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Alex and Alex- I did the study abroad thing in Japan a few years ago and went to Nara, which was the capital back in ancient times. There is Todaiji Temple, the largest wooden building in the world, which shelters an enormous Buddha statue. The souvenir shops sell awesome keychains of little furry Buddhas and squeaky Buddha puppets. But that’s not the most awesome part. The most awesome part is that on the grounds of the enormous Nara park are hundreds of tame deer, making cute honking noises to each other. They are considered messengers of the gods in Shinto. They just come right up to you and expect to be petted or fed deer cookies which you can buy from vendors. so Alex the Bold, you must go obtain these deer cookies.

    33. mlk Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    it’s probably better for wildlife, any wildlife, to just engage it in conversation without trying to feed it. I suspect humans have a terrible tendency to overfeed animals, even those that aren’t “their” pets — just think of how stuffed the geese, ducks and swans at the zoo must get when a steady stream of visitors are feeding them fowl food! and I don’t think it’s good for anyone, in the longrun, when wildlife become dependent on humans for their livelihood.

    sorry to be a grump here. guess I’ve heard too many incidents of deer-as-pests here in Ohio, where their population gets out of hand. still, they’re lovely animals and a pleasure to watch.

    34. Aunt Soozie Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 11:31 am

    You guys are killing me.
    (That’s how we say “you’re funny” here in Jersey.)
    This morning I got an email from the ex.
    I tried to copy and post it here but I couldn’t get that to work.

    She said that she crept back onto my porch after I’d shut the door and closed the porch light.

    She said she prayed that the child was already in bed and hadn’t heard her, the ex, trying to smoosh the spider. Apparently the kid saying they have ways of getting into the house wasn’t lost on the ex who felt it was her motherly butch duty to kill the spider.

    The ex said when she squished it about 50 baby spiders came out of it. Then she tried to kill all of the babies. My ex is Catholic. I’m not sure if that’s a venial or a mortal sin but I feel guilty for originally suggesting the murder.

    Next time I get bitten by mosquitos I’ll know it’s my own fault for supporting the extermination of their natural predators.

    in closing the ex said,
    “the things we still do for each other”
    and something about feeling like a couple of baby spiders were crawling around on her face.

    35. Aunt Soozie Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Did some research.
    The baby spiders weren’t “in” her..they were either in an egg sack that she had made, like a cocoon and that was attached to her spinerets or they were, sigh, riding on her back which they do until their first moult.

    36. Pam I Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Aaaaargh !!! All she had to do was put a jam jar over it (her, it helps to think of them as female), slide a postcard underneath and carry it off somewhere less threatening (to all of you0. Then jump back out of the way during the difficult bit of letting it run off, I hear my neighbours giggling as they watch this pantomime out of their back window. And Soozie, you’d better get yourselves onto one of those de-phobia-ising courses before all those babies come back to get you…

    37. Aunt Soozie Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Thanks Pam,
    I didn’t dare look at your photos yet…but, I will!

    38. Dr. Empirical Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    The deer know not to come into my yard; too many dogs! The fox, though, knows exactly how far the invisible fence lets the dogs go, and parades up and down just out of reach. If we leave any dog toys in the yard overnight he steals them. Foxes love squeaky chews!

    39. xckb13 Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    A few years ago I was in a fancy hotel in Tashkent, Uzbekistan for dinner (a desperate lunge at civilization after too long in the desert) with my girlfriend. We had a nice dinner, and then I wanted to order dessert for both of us. My girlfriend won’t drink any tea but Earl Grey – you know, the kind with oil of bergamot in it. So in well-practiced Russian, I ordered dessert, coffee for myself, and, turning to the waitress with a smile, proudly delivered the finishing touch to our order by asking for Earl Grey tea – you know, the kind with oil of begemot in it. I heard the mistake immediately, but it was too late… “Bergamot” in Russian is the same as in English. “Begemot,” however, means hippopotamus.

    40. Sir Real Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Hmm, I vaguely recall from school a text tying the United Statesian lawn obsession with the age-old quest to tame nature… tying in of course with taming `the feminine’.

    I’m not googling up the name of that book but I like this article…

    41. Deb Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Good goddess! If a wolf spider was anywhere near my place, I would be freaking out too! We have deer all over the place where I live. They’re so tame, sometimes they will come up to you and just stare at you. It’s eerie at times! Now I am going to be looking for spiders all day! ARGH!

    42. Jana C.H. Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    More on mangled foreign tongues:

    The story goes that back in the Sixties Vice-president Humphrey, giving a speech in Vietnam, had memorized the phrase for “Vietnam for One Thousand Years.” But Vietnamese is a tonal language. Predictably, he got the tones wrong, and what came out was “The duck wants to lie down.”

    Another tale, this one from my instructor in Scots Gaelic: a public official in Scotland gave a speech at the opening of a Gaelic music festival, full of musicians who actually knew Gaelic. He, too, memorized a phrase, wishing his audience “success to the festival.” Gaelic isn’t tonal, but one does have to be careful distinguishing between long and short vowels, and he ended up wishing the audience “pussy for the penis”. Good thing it didn’t happen in Michigan.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith JFK: I am a jelly donut.

    43. Ginjoint Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    Saith JFK: I am a jelly donut.

    Ha! I was wondering when someone would bring up that oldie but goodie.

    44. louise Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    just like in high school Espanol – mistakes can make you muy, muy embarazada.

    45. Al, et al. Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Very funny, Louise!
    Once in Italy, I attempted to order a tuna and tomato (”pomo d’oro”, or golden apple) sandwhich, but eneded up saying “pompo d’oro” (”golden pump”), thus ordering a tuna and good head sandwhich.

    46. Fräulein Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Ha ha ha. Many funny things. Okay- here’s mine: at my wedding to a nice German, the justice of the peace said everything in german and in english so my family would get the picture. We/they are from Canada. So she (j. of the p.) got all poetic quoting Goethe and explaining in a fairly pessimistic tone for a wedding (in my opinion) that “zu jede Ehe kommt streit”. As she spontaneously tried to translate that into english she came up with “to every marriage, zehr must come a squirrel” which the Canadians accepted with sober nods. All of us who spoke both languages were exploding with rib-cracking giggles. She got lost on the word “quarrel”.

    47. Pam I Says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Aunt Soozie, just have a peep to see if our wolf spiders are the same as yours. This records a very ordinary example, can’t be more than an inch across. But, um, the first pic is of a tarantula but it’s very small in the frame…. never really had problems with tarantulas, they’re not like the real brutes with bendy knees. Not that there’s many turn up in Tottenham.

    I now feel honour bound to get you cured. I really do understand – I used to work in my darkroom with my trousers tucked into my socks, on the off-chance that I would get a visit. My new darkroom (now there’s a rare phrase) will be in a shed, so there should be plenty of chances to test my new sanguinity (sp?).

  2. Mothra in NYC says:

    Not crazy about actual spiders, myself, what with their ability to dole out nasty bites and their hanging about on threads and all.

    Daddy longlegs, on the other hand, are in my opinion oddly cute, and since they are not technically spiders, I am happy to let them crawl (clamber?) wherever they feel like getting to, even on my hands. I guess what makes the difference for me is knowing what to expect, knowing that a daddy longlegs is never going to bite me or startle me with a sudden Tarzanlike swing in front of my face!

    Meanwhile, I would recommend to Pam I that she keep tucking her trousers into her socks to work in her new darkroom, since genuine spider bites are not particularly nice, and one might as well take precautions.

  3. Pam I says:

    So far there are no UK spiders that can do harm to us great lumbering humans. But I hear that we now have so-called False Black Widows (Black Divorcees?) surviving in the warm west country. They aren’t so deadly as your exotic ones, but look similar. We’ve always imported the biting sorts with bananas etc but they couldn’t over-winter before. Ho hum. What eats spiders? Maybe we’ll have to get some False Vultures in from Spain to save us from nipped ankles.