A Snail, a Spider, and a View

A freshwater canal flows behind my condo. It is there I take most of my wildlife pictures, because I haven’t had a chance to get out and explore the area yet. The canal is an endless source of interest to me. I’m always seeing something new.

Like this.apple snail eggs 7.10.14 sm

apple snailI’d seen it several times and finally grabbed a (slightly blurry) shot of it. It took me only a minute to ID it online. These are the eggs of an apple snail. The canal is full of them. And yes, it’s another invasive species someone imported for some stupid reason, and now it’s proliferating like mad everywhere in Florida. When are we gonna learn, eh?

The picture at left is not mine; I found it on the article that identified the pink stuff. But I have seen lots of these snails in the water, and I have one of their shells in the condo. 

I am endlessly fascinated by things I see here. It is a foreign land when it comes to flora and fauna, though the way climate change is readjusting weather everywhere, who knows? There might one day be palm trees and apple snails in Minnesota!

R is still up north, though I expect him back next week. He’s been gone over a month now, and he says there is still plenty to do at his Wisconsin property, but he misses his home here. In the meantime, I go back and forth between my house and his, enjoying the sunrise in one place and the sunset in another. Because no matter what kind of weather the day brings, it always begins with sunlight and sparkles on the canal water, and ends with the gorgeous colors of sunset.

The only way climate change has affected Florida so far is to increase the chance of flooding in low-lying coastal areas. Temps continue to clock in around average, humidity is still up there (73 dewpoint a couple days ago, and it wasn’t bothering me! I’m adapting!), and almost every afternoon, it rains somewhere in south Florida.

This morning (Sunday as I write this), this is the view from my couch. View from the Couch 7.12.14 sm

The hibiscus is in full bloom, thanks to several hours of light rain we got yesterday. This bush has at least one flower every day, and it’s been doing this since I moved in two and a half months ago. How cool is that?

It’s still early morning here, but in an hour or so, I’ll close the french doors and lanai windows to keep the heat of the day from coming inside. I run the a/c maybe an hour a day, no more and often less. A floor fan keeps me comfortable. Ceiling fans in every room provide zone cooling. My electric bill runs around $40 a month, which is less than I paid in St Paul.

It’s water that’s expensive. My water bill every month runs around $52. I’ve always been careful not to waste it, so it is rarely more but always this much; it’s the base charge. I even have a bucket outside to catch rain, and I use that to water the plants. R has a well; that’s how he can afford to water a couple hundred plants every day, have a sprinkler system, and maintain a pool. City water is pricey.

And how does the water taste? Dunno. I use a filter system on drinking water. I’ve done it for years, and I doubt I’ll give it up. Considering all the crap we are doing of late, I’d rather filter it than not. There is always a pitcher of ice cold water in the fridge.

There is a spider living in the climbing ivy outside R’s front door. It is not poisonous. It is an orb weaver. Every night, it spins a web across the walk, and every morning, it’s gone. I’ve accidentally barged through it twice, and I suspect it doesn’t care anymore what it looks like, ’cause the first web I saw was perfect. 🙂 Door Spider 7.10.14 sm

Haven’t named it yet. Probably won’t. But guess what? I told R I named the automatic pool cleaner Dolores, and now he calls it that too. Heh.



About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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37 Responses to A Snail, a Spider, and a View

  1. michelerakes says:

    I enjoyed this post. It’s a nice read as I begin my Monday morning. Should name the spider Boris.


  2. Allison says:

    The snail eggs are a beautiful color although the outcome is not. Do I see a bed for Suki in the Lanai? Your plants look wonderful, they must love the weather down there as much as you do. 🙂

    Do you think the spider’s web gets worse as it ages? I have no idea how long they live but it seems like a reason why it would stop being so perfect.

    I love that R is calling the pool cleaner Dolores too now. 😀 I hope you have a wonderful week.

    • The eggs look like bubblegum, if you ask me. I need to keep an eye on them. Maybe I’ll be around when they hatch or whatever they do. Yes, that’s a Suki bed. 🙂 Right now, it’s too hot to sit out there, as I was last month. But as summer wanes, I’ll move back into the lanai.

      He weaves a new web every night. Generally, he catches one or two small flying creatures, so he’s not starving.

  3. cindyls1969 says:

    I’m glad you’re finding some peace and happiness there. Looks like a beautiful place and your pics are gorgeous as usual. For a bit of perspective, my water bill runs about 200 a month and my electric about 120, Maybe I need to move to Florida.

  4. kmac64 says:

    Beautiful pictures as always. I used to have so many plants and I miss them. I love having them everywhere. I recently purchased a peace lily and it is thriving beautifully. We have here what is called tropical hibiscus and it looks just like yours. Even comes from Florida, no surprise there. It is not a perennial for us though and dies each year with the cold. We do have the Rose of Sharon with saucer size flowers that is climate hardy but not as pretty as the hibiscus IMO. Have a great week and hopefully R will make his return soon.

  5. Marleen Kennedy says:

    Loved this post and the pictures. The view from your couch is so relaxing and I’m kind of jealous of all the flora and fauna you find just outside your door. Your electricity bill sounds very low compared to what were paying. Can’t say anything about the water charges since Ireland is only introducing those at the moment (to the tune of enormous protests). It won’t affect us since we have our own private well (and have therefore been paying for our own water since we moved in) but if I was on the public system I’d be up in arms as well. I haven’t drank tap water outside my own house since I moved to Ireland. Boil first warnings seem to be the order of the day and it smells faintly of bleach. Water should, in my opinion, not have a smell. I’m not sure a filter would be enough to reassure me.

  6. I think the best part about your posts lately is how happy you sound. Love the pics too of course, but the happiness is so palpable.

  7. When I visited my father in LaBelle, I complained about the taste of the water. He and my step-mother insisted since they had a well, and not city water it tasted fine. I couldn’t even stand to put the ice cubes in my Diet Coke.

  8. Donna Lewis says:

    I’m really enjoying your posts and pictures. And you do sound very happy, which is always a good thing.

    • Except for not knowing where to go next with my writing, I’m happy. 🙂

      • Marleen Kennedy says:

        Chlorine in water other than that in a swimming pool is wrong. We’re lucky our water is as pure as it comes. And with my body operating as an early warning system we can be sure about that as well 🙂

        • I agree. But it is used to kill bacteria. I refused to drink it. Instead, I brought over bottled water. The scary thing is, these days, no one knows what’s in their water anymore. 😦

  9. diannegray says:

    That view from your couch is wonderful (it puts me in ‘relax mode’ just looking at it!) 😉

  10. Jaycee Edward says:

    Lovely, peaceful post! Your place is gorgeous. I agree, your tone is so much different than it was before your move. As for water, I love our tap water. I can’t stand bottled water – it tastes salty to me and doesn’t quench my thirst at all. I just watched a program on TV about bottled water and most of it is actually just tap water, bottled. It’s a racket. Now, if I want REALLY good tap water, I can drive over to Kent, OH, a few minutes away – they have the best tap water in America… supposedly. I vote for naming the spider Boris.

    • Boris it is.

      I buy bottled water to get the bottles. 😉 Then I refill them with filtered tap water.

      • Jaycee Edward says:

        Just saw the spider is an orb weaver. Reminded me of something funny. A few years ago, my grandson (who’s actually a smart kid – not that you’d know it by what I’m going to tell you…) had an orb weaver bite him right next to his eye. His eye swelled shut and his face ballooned up. Had to go to the ER, etc. I asked him afterward how he knew it was an orb weaver that bit him and he said, “Because I saw it before I put it on my face.”

  11. Yvonne says:

    What a lovely, peaceful post to read at the end of another exhausting day. Good to hear you’re happy and hopefully the writing will sort itself out soon too.

  12. Carole says:

    So funny. Pretty much knew what I was going to say but wanted to read the replies first & there you go, everyone said a lot of the same thing. I really enjoyed this post. Not that I don’t really enjoy them all but this was nice.
    What is the ceiling of the lanai made of? It looks like thin wood pieces lined up. A really old but very cool look or am I seeing something wrong.
    Love the pics. I can’t believe you find all this outside. I guess I don’t look hard enough or you have an eye for noticing things.
    Love hearing about the sunrise @ your place & the sunset at R’s. Def the best of both worlds!!! Do you think you’ll continue that or do you think once he gets home it’s back to Sunday’s at his place?
    Thanks as always for sharing 😘

    • The lanai is metal, including the roof. I put the pic through a few filters to enhance the mood of relaxation and warmth. When R returns, which I hope will be no later than Sunday, I plan to spend some uninterrupted time at my place. I only just arrived there, and I don’t feel I’ve been able to enjoy it as fully as I’d like given the house-sitting. I’ll continue spending time at R’s, but not every day, and I’m okay with that. 🙂

  13. W. Lotus says:

    I love that morning light in your living room.

  14. A.M.B. says:

    What a lovely view from your couch! You sound very happy there. I’m happy for you. 🙂

    • Thanks! The heat and humidity gets to me occasionally, as I have not completely adapted yet, but I still love being warm all the time. I had the scooter out last night just as it began raining, and I felt a momentary bit of “cool” in the air. Refreshing! Heh.

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