Mama Wolves in the Strawberries

Strawberry Bud

“Too late and too hot to plant strawberries,” says the man at the nursery. Back home though, last year’s plants are making a comeback, despite an invading army of weeds.

Wolf Spider With Egg Sac

While using a small trowel to dig up the roots, a wolf spider appears with a perfectly round, marble-sized egg sac.

Wolf Spider Protecting Egg Sac

Shielding the sac from whatever a lanky biped might do, she gently climbs on top, waiting for the novice gardener’s next move.

Wolf Spider Dragging Egg Sac

The human steps out of sight (not easy with eight eyes watching), so mama crawls over the sphere and attaches it to her spinneret. Next, she drags it to the side of the bed, then begins digging face-first into the soil.

Egg Sac Spot

Unbeknownst to the submerged, the human returns with small reeds, marking the area like an endangered piping plover or loggerhead nest on the beach.

Wolf Spider Carrying Egg Sac

Another wolf spider (family?) stealthily emerges from the underground towing respective luggage,

Wolf Spider With Egg Sac

then skitters across the topsoil looking for an undisclosed locale,


and finally gets to digging.

Secret Egg Sac Spot

With her precious orb safely buried, she emerges to find four curious sticks poking out of the dirt.

Estival Starts

Sunflower Start

Sprouted from fallen kernels, two young sunflowers occupy the southwest corner of the vegetable bed among okra and Thai red pepper comrades. Welcome.

Solanum Starts

The first tomatoes appear mid-June amidst hopes of an extended growing season (likely, if this winter’s as mild as last).