Sunday, May 15, 2011

Trailing Light

Greater White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
Female Crab Spider (Misumena vatia)

One of those encounters which on the surface of it is merely mundane, but chock full of wonders when one embraces the moment and takes another look... 

The trillium in the shadows was definitely one of the greater trilliums, its three petals almost as large as a hand with the fingers extended in invitation or offering.  In its heart were six fuzzy bright gold stamens, and when I bent to look closely, something was moving there - the something turned out to be a beautifully marked female crab spider, the first of the season.

I watched the lady move from the heart of the trillium out across the petals, then swing gracefully over the edge onto the underside. A skilled hunter who doesn't make use of webs in hunting, the crab spider is a chameleon, and as she moved, her colors were morphing from the bright gold at the trillium's heart to the white of its petals.  It was wonderful to watch, and for a moment I forgot about the clouds of voracious gnats hovering around my head.

I could mark the spider's trail by the bright golden pollen she was tracking across the petals on her delicate furry feet, and I thought to myself, "Look, she's trailing light..."  Trailing Light is also the title of a blog where I occasionally post black and white photos and my fumbling attempts at poetry.  Unlike me, the crab spider in her trillium was poetry in motion, and she was a true artist - more creative than I shall be in a thousand and one years.  In the words of the late Dag Hammarskjold, I am just standing around down here with a paint pot (or rather a camera), looking on and shouting.

6 comments:

Tabor said...

I find, like you, that what seems mundane is really a miracle in disguise.

One Woman's Journey said...

beautiful - looks like a painting.
oh, to have your talent for writing and photography...

hele said...

i can't help but wonder if somewhere someone or something is watching you, marveling at your perfection as you move across the landscape, stopping to gently touch that which fills you with beauty.

ironwood said...

Beautiful photo of the flower crab spider, Cate. Good to read that Spencer is okay. In our travels, unfortunately we have had occasional encounters with ticks and they are certainly becoming more common in the Ottawa Valley. We never saw them at our farm at Osgoode until about six or so yars ago. We started having the dogs vaccinated for Lyme eparound that time as we were spending so much time in Nova Scotia where ticks are more a fact of life. Anyhow, good that your vet is on top of things! Take care, Bev (JTTC)

Guy said...

Hi Cate

What a beautiful photo of the spider. I have always been fascinated by them and to see one captured with the beauty of the flower and yellow of the pollen.

What a treat.

Guy

Ontario Wanderer said...

Wonderful find, excellent observations, great write up!