Sunday, August 29, 2010

T double E double R double I . . .

It's feeling like fall in Upstate NY--nights are cool and morning dog walks require a sweatshirt.  The days will still warm up to the low eighties, but it just doesn't feel as muggy as June or July.  The garden is dying down while the apples and wild grapes are ripening.  I love this time of year.

When walking the dog the other morning the laneway looked like it was ready for Halloween.  We started out having to break through a few single web strings that crossed our path, but then I saw this:

I don't know if it is just timing--I'm walking the dog at the right moment when the sun shines through the dewey webs--or if spiders work like crazy when the temperature starts to drop.  These were along the brush next to our path, all the way down the path.  

If you didn't get too close, the spider would be sitting in the center of their masterpiece.  Otherwise as soon as you approached they would drop out of sight.

This picture has two webs with a spider in each if you can see them
We have a healthy respect for spiders in this house.  It must be from growing up seeing the original Charlotte's Web in the movie theatre.  The kids are told not to kill them (our nemesis is the cluster fly) but also not to get too close.  I have witnessed what a spider bite can do, thanks to a coworker's unlucky encounter.  So, as long as these guys keep in their spot and do their job, we can coexist.

This morning a line was crossed.  As I was walking the dog, looking for webs, I found a Monarch butterfly motionless, seemingly suspended in the air.  A closer inspection revealed its wings being stuck in a web.  Luckily it seemed the spider had not yet approached its prey.  I had a Wilber moment, took a stick and broke the web.  The butterfly quickly flew away and I was elated.  Sorry Charlotte--you'll have to try again for a more ugly dinner.  Meanwhile the dog and I continued our walk, looking for more webs.  I have yet to find one that spells "Terrific" but I'm still looking.

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