a story of Southern agriculture

The edge of spring…

Hello there, remember spring?

We’re lovin’ the 60s down South.  It’ll turn cold again, but this February warmth is a welcome break each year.  A reminder that spring is officially only a month away.

It gives the attitude a little extra somethin’ positive to go on for the final month of winter.

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It also makes a body do strange things.

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In particular, it has me purging attic spaces – purging them of 100+ year old family pieces, crossing myself and swatting spiders, hollering “Death!”  Thwack (fly swat).

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There were a few, “Sweet Jesus, that’s a lot of spiders,” tossed into yesterday’s attic clearing.

I feel a need deep in my emotional stability for more Praying mantids.  Their petitioning posture, their hunting prowess – seems like a formula for success.

Today, we tackle the attic stacks on the front porch.  The parental units and donkey brigade are on standby.

I’m just not a natural born enemy to brown recluse spiders.

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But, I’m feeling more like a praying mantis right now.  Lightning fast at catching bugs.  Craning my neck a full 180 degrees looking for the enemy.  5 eyes on alert.  Biting back when my Farmer wants some sugar…

Mantis religiosa – nothing like a little NatGeo for your Saturday morning

…okay I’m not biting back.  It’s more like I’m in need of a big farmer arm hug every 17 minutes, and I’d better get what I need or else (snot and tears imminent).  Tom Gray and Buddy are taking snuggle shifts to get me through.

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The extra cold winter was a short reprieve from the creepy crawlies…but as I stand on the edge of spring, I swiftly sideline thoughts of my garden, kitchen remodel, new baby calves and pasture walks with my Farmer to pick daffodils…no, there’s an infestation that lurks, and it has me back on the edge where I last lined up my toes before frost brought a winter stalemate last autumn.

Of all the intense emotions that the edge of spring brings, I’ve never experienced this type of dread…

…the egg sacks are hatching, the egg sacks are hatching…

…like a colonial Revere announcement, this warm spell heralds another season of pushing back the arachnid invasion.

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It’s a steady on march type of endeavor.  I’ve learned to shoulder the paranoia and laugh at having discovered I don’t die from brown recluse bites – not even two of them. 

`Tis a strange psychological endeavor – this living with an infestation.

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don’t jump!  Don’t do it!…

Okay, fine, I won’t jump, but does anyone know where I can purchase praying mantids, wolf spiders and lizards in bulk?

The lizards need to be cat-resistant.

I’m rallying for round 5,700 in this brown recluse saga.  Say a few “Lord have mercies” for me.  I’m heading out to purge, already having texted the in-laws and cried my mama and hugged my Farmer and let Buddy’s silky soft ears lower my blood pressure…and Tom promises to stay with me…and it’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay, it’s going to…

Toes gripping the ledge,



Have things thawed out a bit at your place?  Have the sunshine and warmth got you toeing the edge of spring ready to launch?

4 Responses to “The edge of spring…”

  1. Katie

    Be careful! You may need some holy wine or throw some salt over your shoulder. You are a brave lady! I will be praying for your safety. Maybe a special fancy date night is in your future ??


    • Emily Grace

      Ha! You’re great, Katie. Thanks for your prayers.

      One of the spiders was hiding in my Limoges tea set. “Tea sets are not for recluses,” I said to myself. 🙂

      I’m thinking a date night would be great…drown my anxiety in some chocolate frozen yogurt after a big steak!



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