Sunday, 22 June 2014

Step inside my Parlour said the Spider...


The view from our cabin has always been a good place to witness a wide range of wildlife: from buzzards, woodpeckers, ducks and oyster catchers, to deer, hedgehogs, field mice, frogs and newts. There's even an owl, but I've never seen it, just heard it hooting through the night.

We've also got spiders, lots of spiders, and recently their presence has become a bit overwhelming. Last weekend the mistress and her pals witnessed a mass migration from the woods, like an army claiming new territory in preparation for an assault. Either that or the current resident spiders had invited all their pals over for a party and there were lots of gatecrashers. Talking of gates, we missed one weekend stay and discovered the entire gate lock mechanism had been webbed up. A 'Keep Out' message if ever I saw one. I think the spiders are taking over.

Previously I'd only occasionally get webbing on my nose when I poked it through the railings. Now it always happens. I'm scared to look out in case I end up with a spider crawling inside my nasal cavity. Despite the master brushing away all the webs, we awake to find overnight they've all been re-spun. Every railing gap has at least four spiders living there, hiding in the corners during the day and weaving their fly nets by night. I suppose it's a good thing that they eat a lot of the midges but something needs to be done to redress this arachnid population explosion. 

It's creepy to look out a window to find multiple spiders peering in, sitting pretty in their webs gathering dead insects for dinner. It's like they are gathering intelligence, watching our movements, checking what time we go to bed, investigating where the motion sensors are, plotting the take over of the interior, having already conquered the exterior. Generations of spider babies have been born on our walls and decking and now they want the rest. They need the space. Last night I witnessed a number abseiling down web cords in unison, as if they were attempting the crash through the window, S.A.S. style. I imagine these Special Assault Spiders were sent to test the glass strength. Fortunately we have double glazing.

As yet we've not found too many inside and the master has managed to eject these scouts. I'm all for killing them but the humans won't, being a superstitious bunch.  'It's bad luck to kill a spider' so the saying goes. Great PR by the spiders to protect themselves. And so their numbers grow.

I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they succeed with their plans. With the summer heat rising, the patio doors are being kept open during the day and the windows are staying open longer in the evening. They'll get a foothold inside and then the place will look like the creepy location of a Scooby Doo episode. I'll be the one sent in to deal with them but I'll only step a paw inside if I'm given a scooby snack first.   

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Weather too hot or not too hot, that is the question.

A Scottish scorcher today, 25 degrees C. I couldn't settle in the garden. It was too warm. The problem is I still have my winter coat and it's not shedding fast enough. I scratch at it but I really haven't got the energy to make much impact. I'm even letting the humans brush me without resisting.

Even the house was too warm. With all the windows open, we failed to attract any coolness, just flies and bees into the house. Maybe they thought it was too warm outside too. 

Not actually from today -
 the camera would have melted (maybe)
Fortunately by the time the master walked me in the evening, a cool breeze had developed. I was still panting and keen to play 'chase and retrieve' but he dissuaded me. The previous night I had given him, and myself, a fright after our game, unable to walk for more than a couple of yards without lying down. He was reminded of when his first pet dog was old and had had a heart attack. It perked up at the sight of the park, only to accept his legs couldn't carry him there and back. He made it there but had to be carried home, tired but content.

If I had died yesterday, it would have been a pleasant way to go, baking in the sun. Much better than on the vet's table. I'm not ready to go yet but it was a sign that I'm not quite as young as I once was. I need to slow down. I think that's why I'm getting grumpier with young dogs. If they steal my ball I would previously have chased after them but now I just bark at the master for a replacement, and he usually complies. Anything for an easy life. 

The master has been back at work for a while. Why he couldn't have been sick now when the weather is lovely is disappointing! I would have enjoyed the cooling effect of his tears on my coat, plus I would have been able to spend these lovely days at the cabin, instead of dodging out for walks between showers as we did back in March.

It won't be long before the mistress is on holiday. I wonder what plans she has to fill my days? Lots of sunbathing I hope.  


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Writer's Block

Finally a little sun and warmth
Loch Katrine
Rest time

Play time
Not letting go time

Proud to be home again - now throw the tennis ball