Nature Friday ~ October 8, 2021

Nature FridayWelcome to Friday where we take a look around an urban neighborhood to see what Nature has offered. We’re joining Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard who host this weekly blog hop. If you click on their link you’ll see what others have shared.

Before we share this week’s nature sights, I want to thank everyone for your gentle and kind comments yesterday on Sam’s Sweet Sixteenth birthday. I greatly appreciate your warm, tender support. It means the world to me knowing that Sam touched your life.

So let’s get started looking at this week’s scenes. Autumn is definitely in the air even if it isn’t showing up with colorful leaves although a few more are starting to change. Finally. When you live in Colorado you’re spoiled with beautiful bluebird hued skies and shockingly gold leaves on aspen trees and brown just doesn’t cut it. It’s true we generally don’t have a lot of the bright oranges and reds you’d see on East Coast trees, but the contrast is still breathtaking.

That said, we did see some unusual autumn sights around the ‘Hood. As we begin to prepare the garden for winter, we’re seeing fewer butterflies but a  lot more evidence of spiders. This spider web caught my eye after a brief morning watering. The glistening drops on the web in the early morning light really captivated my interest. I watched for several minutes to see if some cheesed off spider was scurrying around trying to dry off and felt a bit badly that some industrious arachnid had received a cold shower early in the morning. While I’m a bit afraid of spiders, I welcome them in the garden (inside the house…not so much).


One of my neighbors has a Golden Raintree (Koelreuteria paniculata) in his front yard which always captivates my eye. It looks unusually parched this year no doubt given to the drought-like conditions we’ve all endured. Still, when a breeze is evident, the lantern-like pods shimmy and shake like a Vegas chorus line.

So what’s the story about this unusual looking tree? It’s one of few trees that have yellow blooms which cascade all over the canopy in midsummer. Once seed pods begin to form in late summer, they usually turn orange and resemble little lanterns. These more brown-than-orange colored pods still provide visual interest. A moderately sized tree, Golden Raintree is quite hardy, standing up well to heat, harsh climate conditions and city pollution which proves that it won the trifecta. They are hardy in Growing Zones 5-9, and tolerate temps to -10ºF below zero (-23ºC).

After showering the garden with one of the season’s last waterings, I ran into this Aragog look-alike a couple of mornings ago. Although the photo appears fairly light, it was actually taken shortly after sunrise and needed to be highly edited. A motion detector in one of the forelegs lights the eyes up and startled the living daylights out of me as I came round the fence. Even the dogs paused and proceeded to cautiously investigate. Me…I stayed as far away as possible from that thing! Guess I need to be far more considerate when watering around spider webs. Hopefully there’s a strong padlock on the storage shed that will likely house this giant in the ‘off-season.’ I’d hate to have him chase me down for inadvertently evicting one of his cousins.

Whatever you do this weekend, get out and enjoy Nature. But watch out for Arachnids.🕷

Live, love, bark! 🐾

58 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ October 8, 2021

  1. How creepy is that!!

    I have a great fear of spiders, no matter their size, after twice having them in my bed as a child…shudders at the memory…

    That rain tree is pretty! Our winter temps might not deal kindly with it, though, as we often are way below -10F, though we are supposedly in zone 6.

    1. Spiders, despite being so beneficial to gardens, really are pretty creepy. I don’t blame your fear. May your days be spider-free.

    1. It sure caught my attention. Sure wasn’t expecting it at 6:30 in the morning! 🕸🕷🕸

  2. That tree looks very interesting and unusual. I have to confess that I am not a great fan of spiders. Outside, well yes, but inside the house is asking for trouble. Have a great weekend.

    1. Inside they get shown the front door! Outside they’re free to do whatever spiders do. 🕸🕷🕸

  3. The peeps here aren’t very fond of spiders either, unless they are of the nature of that one in your last photo. The rain-touched web photo is amazing.

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    1. I’m just grateful the dang thing didn’t move. The lighted up eyes were enough creepiness.

  4. I don’t believe I’ve seen any golden rain trees around our town – they are gorgeous when in color and those “lanterns” are pretty cool too! That spider is – well – EEEEEEEEK! Very Halloweenish though.

    Hugs, Pam

    1. I don’t see many of them around my neighborhood either which is too bad. They do well in this climate and as a bonus have good looks. I think I’ll see if I can find any at one of the nearby greenhouses. Not everyone needs/wants a maple or oak. 😉

  5. There is a golden rain tree in the park going into the capital but so far we have missed picking up the pods for seed as it is just alongside the place where the traffic police lurk in waiting.
    Spiders…we used to be infested, but since a family of small birds have taken over the house not a spider to be seen!

    1. Say what you will about the messiness of birds, they do a great job keeping the insect population under control.

  6. Arachnids are most certainly entitled to their own space, just so long as they respect my space, we got no problems. Of course, the sticky part of the label is making sure they understand this understanding I’ve got going with them.

    Colorado really does produces some of the most breathtaking captures. I mean, when the local football team comes up short, at least you have everything else going for you, right? 😉

    Here’s to Sam.

    Have a great weekend as well Monika

    1. Yeah, that local football team…it’s a joke. Guess nature is the universe’s way to give us a nice make up call.

      Spiders aren’t a problem per se-it’s those #%$& webs that freak me out!

    1. Thanks. Most people hate those locust tree pods (and they can be messy on sidewalks) but the crunch they make when you step on them…makes you feel like a kid again…paradise.

    1. Thanks. I wasn’t sure if anyone would pick up on it. That was quite the entertaining series and I watch it every time it shows up on cable (even though I have the whole DVD set!).

  7. So THAT’S where those orange lanterns they sell in craft stores comes from. Cool! I have spent years trying to get over my fear of spiders. Last night there was a quarter-sized spider in my kitchen. It was pregnant, so I wasn’t about to kill it and have a million baby spiders attacking me. I covered it with a glass jar and waited until hubby got home, who took it outside and set it free. Ughh! *shiver*
    But I do love that giant spider decoration. It’s the best one I’ve seen.

    1. Aren’t they though? I want to touch them to see if they feel like crepe paper but afraid they’ll crumble in my hand about the time the guys walks out to walk his dogs. 😉

            1. Trust me, if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. One time I was admiring a very cool pair of skis on the back of a car with a friend and the damn things fell off just as the owner of the car showed up. I never touched them! Talk about embarrassment!

    1. Running into webs when I’m walking makes me go nuts trying to get that stuff off my face. Think gigantic arm windmilling!!

  8. You know what gives me the creeps? When you walk into a web and get the spider web on your face. Yuck. Imagine doing that with the web that big spider would create. :shudder: But I’d like to infiltrate a spider like into my neighbor’s Nativity Set come Christmas since he never gave Hedgie the Hedgehog back last year.

    1. Yeah, I’ve been ‘encountering’ the beginnings of webs on our walks. Can’t do enough arm windmills getting that stuff off my face. Ye-ow!!!!! Creepsville, I tell you, just plain creepsville. And probably perfect for a nativity display. But one that’s gigantic-that spider is over 5 ft. tall and not particularly subtle!

  9. I love that tree and I love that spider. I would love to have that spider.

    You know I loved Sam.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. Scritches to the pups, a smooch to Norman and a hug to mom. ♥

    1. That spider is pretty cool, I’ll admit. But the Home Depot price tag at a shade under $400 isn’t that cool! Some people just really love their Halloween decorations, I guess.

      Sam would have loved meeting you in person. No doubt he would practically have lifted himself off the ground with a furious tail wag coupled with a heay lean against your legs. He was pure love.

      Enjoy a beautiful weekend! 🍁

    1. My pleasure. It’s definitely an interesting tree and the fact that it can tolerate our harsh climate makes it a winner in my books. Have a great weekend!

    1. Your mama and me both. I start windmilling my arms whenever I encounter a spider web!

    1. It sure woke me up. These folks have easily a couple of grand in Halloween decorations! I am continually stunned whenever I walk past. They have a 12 ft. high skeleton along with a dozen 5 foot tall ones and a skeleton dog. It’s awe inspiring even if way beyond my means to duplicate.

        1. It’s just stunning to me. And yet there are so many who are struggling from day to day. Things sure are out of balance.

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