Freaky Friday: The Garden’s Dark Underbelly

It’s not all Sweet Alyssum and roses.  Every garden has a dark side. I’m sure it’s no accident that the spooky celebrations of Halloween coincide with the decay of fall.

Use your imagination and come with me as we travel the more sinister side of the garden.

bat wings

“Bat Wings”…or decaying leaf?

Spider in the gravel…look closely.

Rats Gone Bad

hollowed orange

Hallowed orange or hollow orange? You decide.

Tree RAt

Tree Rat or Field Mouse? Helping himself to an orange.

Not What They Seem

choking vine

The Choking Vine? Snaking and staking the trellis.

mottled leaf

Urban Decay

shrunken head

Shrunken Head?

stink bug

I’m a Stink bug. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Cavernous Lair

Something Wicked This way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes: Black Widow Haven

Halloween Countdown

Cat on Pumpkin

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Lindy-Lu!

16 thoughts on “Freaky Friday: The Garden’s Dark Underbelly

  1. Oooh, spooooky! Nicely done! You’ve got a great eye — and vivid imagination — with the lovely photos to prove it. Thanks for the tour. Black cat on the pumpkin is the pièce de résistance!


    • Why thank you, my dear! I’m such a trickster. A liberal dusting of catnip on top of the pumpkin was all it took. I took several shots, but only one with her facing me.

      Seriously, when we replaced the brick wall with the more natural bolder, I took both boys back there when they were younger and warned them not to put fingers in those crevices. We’ve had black widows in the garage and yard. They are shy and reserved and non-aggressive, BUT, you can’t go poking into their home unannounced.


      • Ah yes, the ol’ catnip lure! It’s wonderful to photograph our feline friends in all their amusing poses — lucky when we happen upon them, and funny the maneuvers we often must employ to get just the right “candid” shot!

        I share your respect for spiders: Let them be! Last night, upon retiring to our bed, I noticed a spider directly above us, at the highest peak of our vaulted ceiling. No way to reach it without a very tall ladder. No way to sleep with it there. Jim fetched the long-handled pool-cleaning net from the garage. We stripped the comforter off the bed, down to the white sheets, so we could easily spot the spider if it landed there. Jim had to stand on top of the bed, arms/pole fully extended to reach the ceiling. It was an exercise in balance and finesse to gently nudge the spider, now on the move, and get it to drop into the net without injuring it. I stood below, holding the repurposed Crystal Lite plastic package, ready to capture the wayward visitor for relocation. What a scene — at 1am, no less! The two cats who’d already made themselves comfortable on the bed, ready for their customary pre-sleep petting, had scattered, but sat nearby, watching with apparent curiosity — and perhaps anticipation of receiving a new “plaything”. Our efforts were successful, THANKFULLY!, and the spider was placed in a corner of the yard, a location much more suitable for all of us!


        • Alicia, you’ve managed to write an entire post in the comments section. Please, copy and paste and post this to your blog. It’s wonderful.

          Perhaps Jim will pose for you on the bed, net in hand.

          Then again…maybe that’s not quite the right image you are going for.

          Thanks for sharing!


  2. I’m making it a priority NOT to put fingers in any holes on future visits to California….yikes, I just Googled images for ‘Black Widow’…she would make me faint I’m sure…hopefully into the Nepeta patch so Lindy-Lu could come and revive me. Clever photo’s Alys with a healthy dose of wordplay. What on earth so perfectly emptied that orange? I’d almost expect to see a serviette neatly tucked under it.


    • LOL! serviette neatly tucked under it. You are so fun.

      On any given day we find five to ten gutted oranges on the ground and once, I found one still clinging to the tree. Let me tell you, we give that orange tree a wide birth after nightfall. I’m pretty sure rats are the culprits. They are perfectly hollowed out.

      I’m pretty sure you’ll be safe from black widows on your visit south. They are shy, so once you know what to avoid, you’ll be okay.


  3. I’m taking notes…no fingers in little garden holes and wide birth around fruit trees after dark, got it. You’re so right, a garden can be spooky. We used to see a lot of bats in the peripherals of our bonfires out at the lake, or they’d fly right through all the action which would make us girls scream, much to the delight of the guys. I know they eat a lot of mosquito’s but they also sometimes would fly into the garage if the big door was open and then flip around forever until they found their way out…..I’d be hiding in the house the whole time.


    • LOL! You make me smile.

      I’ve never been around bats, but find them fascinating…and it bit intimidating, too. My friends living up in the mountains have them nesting in the attic. Apparently there is a special device you can install that allows them to fly out, but not back in. Sounds like a terrifically humane way of getting them out of the bell free!

      What good times you’ve had at the lake.


      • Bat nests…..eeek! I know someone who had them in an attic…they didn’t even know for how long, it was a mess with bat dodo. In Edmonton, you’re allowed to have a covered firepit of certain measures in most residential areas. I’ve even seen ‘stand-alone’ wok like pits at Lowes and Home Depot. I always loved late night fires with friends, you’d see a lot of stars in the country. I hope we can have one when ever we get settled. I guess you don’t really need one in California since it doesn’t get too cold at night.


        • They are surprisingly popular here, too. I see them at several garden centers and I have a few friends with them as well. We refer to ourselves as California wimps, complaining when it dips into the low fifties. It’s all what you are used to, I guess.


  4. LOL! I know, I know! As soon as I posted my “comment”, I realized I’d composed an entire blog post, and immediately copied/pasted it, along with some preface material, into a draft. It will appear on my blog shortly. I envisioned the inclusion of accompanying photos, then thought better of it. ; )


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