Under The Black Plastic, Notes From The Barnyard

What I found under the black plastic

Some of the rocks I used to hold down the black plastic are too heavy for me to lift.

I topple them end over end, only as far as I have to.  I place the ones I can lift on the old stone foundation.   One pings like hard glass when it hits another rock.

Under the rocks swollen worms slide in muddy water trapped on the plastic, fat spiders scurry and ants lift their exposed eggs and carry them underground.

Lifting the black plastic I reveal big black crickets and potato bugs.  I expect a snake but only find two wooly bears curled up next to each other.  There’s a brown spider on a white sack of eggs, shards of glass, a long rusty metal rod, bits of plastic, and a small red ball.

There is only one pokeweed, pale green like wilted lettuce, struggling to survive. I feel bad as I pluck it from the earth and toss the withered leaves behind me.  The poke week is the reason I put the black plastic down last year, to keep it from growing in the barnyard.

Looks like it worked.

There is a nest.  Just a slight indent in the ground about the size of my fist covered with dead grass, hay, feathers, and leaves.  I kick it aside but there are no signs of life.

A patch of pure white silk, no bigger than the tip of my pinky is stretched on the shiny black plastic. I gently scrape it and a black jumping spider with white stripes on her legs and body jumps out.

I’m careful to release all the spiders from their silk tents, some leaving eggs sacks behind, before rolling up the black plastic and throwing it in the garbage.

The hens eating some of the grass seed I spread where the pokeweed used to grow in the barnyard.  I put down extra seed knowing some (hopefully not all) would be eaten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Full Moon Fiber Art