The Samsonville weekend was long and productive! Bob mowed, I planted zucchini and pole beans, we took the cover off the pool, went to the Memorial Day parade (the band was a little better than usual -- they played two songs), and did a lot of visiting. Ticks are no joke this year; I pulled one off of Sam on Friday (dog tick); Bob had one crawling on his wrist after mowing on Saturday, and I found one crawling around in my hair after we got back to Castleton. Both of the ticks on us were deer ticks. (And I took a shower and put my clothes in a plastic bag after removing the cover from the pool! I even sprayed myself with Off before that task, which is something I never do.) There were a few deer flies hoving around while we were working too. I should be more scared of those since that is how I got Lyme Disease! Maybe it is because ticks look like mini spiders?
Ah, that reminds me. While removing the cover from the pool, I encountered the biggest beetle I have ever seen. Seriously. It wasn't a June bug, either. Those are always big, but this made a June bug look like a Lady bug. Moments later, a huge spider appeared. Not only was it large, it was incredibly scary-looking. Hairy, fast, with an exotic pattern. Blended into the pool cover exactly. It wasn't a Black Widow or Brown Recluse (thank God). It looked like a Tarantula. Terrifying! I think Bob thought I was over reacting -- I was standing on the pool deck, removing leaves from the cover. There was no where to go to quickly get away from the thing -- couldn't jump into the pool and one of the stairs on the ladder is broken so you need to step carefully. He came up to see what the fuss was about, probably expecting to see a large wood spider or something. When he finally spotted it -- he freaked out too. This spider looked like it could take you down without breaking a sweat. I am not sure where it went once he got a look. It didn't stick around. Wasn't scared of me but figured he was a threat, I guess.
When we got back to Castleton, it had been so hot that my poor plants were so thirsty. Most looked dead. But I soaked them,and today they are fine. So -- planting day! The mosquitoes seem kind of tame by comparison to the jungle creatures in Samsonville.
Later: Google search indicates that it was probably a Wolf spider. A very large one! Biggest, hairiest and most colorful one I've ever seen.