Birds of prey pluck crawfish out of their little mud towers and dump the carcasses on my patio furniture. Ah, swamp life…
This terrifying looking spider, the Golden Silk Orb Weaver, aka: Nephila clavipes, is fairly harmless but very abundant out here during the hottest months. You can’t walk anywhere without having one of their extremely intricate and huge webs wrap around your face like a horror movie. They have a knack for placing them 5-25 feet from the ground, and they particularly love putting them between power lines – creating a rather macabre scene on our rural road.
I’ll be glad when the cooler weather has them hiding.
Ferry riding from Algiers to Chalmette at sunset.
Time to grab some iced tea, sit on the porch, and watch the show.
Back in the Spring I ordered a dump truck full of garden soil so I could begin building my raised bed garden. I had far more than I needed though so about half the pile remained. I had it covered for a while, but the tarp kept blowing away in the thunderstorms so eventually weeds began to creep up the soil pile.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed one weed that looked very strange. From a distance it looked unusually tropical, and I rolled my eyes contemplating what new invasive horror could be growing around here. I went out last Saturday morning and began yanking the weeds only to discover that it was a vine.
As I threw them over my shoulder small fruits dropped on my head. I picked one up and it looked just like a watermelon – a teeny tiny itsy bitsy watermelon.
I’m talking itty bitty. And kinda fuzzy like a peach. And cuuuuuuute.
At first I thought it was just a baby watermelon, but a quick google search proved that it was definitely not. When I sliced it open it smelled like a cucumber so I looked up small cucumber varieties and found Melothria scabra, aka: Mexican Sour Gherkin/Cucumber, Cucamelon. The description of it is very consistent with what I’ve found, but I’m obviously guessing. There’s another one that fits the description too. Melothria pendula, aka: Creeping Cucumber or Guadeloupe Cucumber looks almost exactly like the M. scabra. It’s said to be a mild laxative so I’d really like to know for sure before I consider eating it!
Anyway, I’m really curious how its seeds got into local soil. This is not a common garden plant in Louisiana, and most people I showed the sample to have neither seen nor heard of it before. Now it’s growing wild near my garden. Heh! Trying to decide if I should let it live or go dig it up and cleanse the soil. I really don’t want cucamelons growing in between my landscaping plants next year, but if they turn out to be yummy (and non-toxic to humans) I might keep the seeds and grow them in a location I approve of next time.