Sep 26, 2007

Nature Abhors A Vacuum

That's why it always uses a broom, instead. And sometimes one of those Swiffer Sweeper things. And it always has a dustpan handy, one of those kinds with a little matching brush.

Aah, beating a dead horse. Nothing quite like it to get the blood pumping, eh?

First, some flowers. I'm sure you guys would rather see that than another train photo.



Now then--more Nature.

Meno's post about finding a spider in her sun room led me to remembering a certain writing spider I photographed some ten years ago at my old house, and about how I first learned about them.



The 'spider' you see to the lower left of the bigger spider's leg is in fact the bigger spider's freshly shed skin. She was a good four inches across, easily the largest writing spider I'd ever seen, and she was utterly gorgeous, clean and bright in her new clothes.

I remember my first encounter with a writing spider. I was wandering around in the overgrown barnyard of my grandfather's home in Mississippi; my brother and father were somewhere, and my grandfather was behind me. I might have been all of six or seven, and the dead weeds rustled and crackled as we pushed our way through. I came upon a writing spider who had spread her web between tall stalks of some weed or other, and I couldn't help but notice the scribble of white webbing that she rested above. My grandfather leaned over and said "That's a writing spider. See? He's so proud of his web he wrote his name on it." I can still see him pointing out the squiggly thick white line down the middle and him saying "Henry" in his clear, heavy preacher's voice. I didn't get the joke for years...my grandfather's first name was Henry. I tried for hours to make letters form out of that random scrawl of thick silk. *S*

I can't look at a writing spider now without thinking of that wonderful old man, without hearing that voice just over my shoulder. He died just a few years later. His was the first casket I ever carried as one of six pall bearers, the first time I ever felt like an adult man. I was performing a man's task. It was his death taught me that Life, no matter how grand or pathetic or mediocre, ends sooner or later. It's just Nature.

I can still hear his voice.

6 comments:

Jean said...

ha... the tone of the first paragraph is so completely opposite of the tone at the end... you do that well.

The voice of a loved one... music for the soul :)

Scott from Oregon said...

Awesome picture...

With words and pixels...

Rayne said...

I had no idea they were called writing spiders. That's cool.

meno said...

Four inches across? *Shudder* I wish i were not such a bloody idiot about spiders, because they really are cool.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

That is cool, but I did pull my feet up and think ehhh.... they're great, as long as they are outside and want to stay there.

I like dew on webs. That's pretty.

Aren't grandparents great?

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Irrelephant said...

Thank you, Jean. *smile* I love to listen to Garrison Keillor do the Lake Woebegone stories for the wonderful way he leads from one point to another, drawing you along like you're walking down a street.

Thanx, Scott! I figured I needed to exercise my creative lenswork a little bit.

Rayne, I don't know their 'official' taxonomy, but I've always heard them called that. Fits beautifully, far as I can tell. *s*

Meno, we're all bloody idiots about something. *hug* It's nothing to be ashamed of unless you let it run your life.

Scarlett, it's not an uncommon feeling. *wink* And dew on webs...oh. Beautiful stuff indeed. If you get a chance, click my Flickr link on the left there, I've got some photos of pollen on honeybees and dew on a katydid there. *S*

And I cannot tell you how much I miss my dad and my grandpa (his father.) My maternal grandfather died before I was born, never got to meet him, one of my few regrets in life.