Cross Orbweaver (
Here we are again in the season of last things, and how poignant they are in every fiber of their being. The last antique roses are blooming in our garden, the last ripening tomatoes dangle in the veggie patch, and the last purple grapes depend in the arbor. The last vibrant scarlet Virginia creeper foliage wraps the old wooden fence behind the little blue house in the village, the last crimson berries sway on our hawthorn, and the last golden leaves from the old maples flutter through the air like birds, coming to rest on the cold dark earth below
Raking leaves a few days ago, we noticed an artfully patterned yellow sphere zigzagging across the driveway, several striped legs frantically kicking the air in an agitated dance. We had dislodged a spider from her home as we moved leaves into tidy piles with our rusty old garden scrapers, and her bright abdomen could be seen from quite a distance. Oh dear... There was nothing to do but move the lady to safety beyond the asphalt she was working so hard to traverse. When I picked her up, the spider became quiet and simply sat there in my palm - she displayed no distress or aggression whatsoever, and she was just lovely to look at. Tucked into a secure patch of grass, she attached herself to the underside of a fallen oak leaf and seemed to fall asleep. I checked on her now and again through the afternoon. By now, she has probably deposited a clutch of eggs under yet another leaf and passed quietly out of the great wide world.
As much as I love autumn, this season always takes some getting used to, and I am working on it again this time around. Many farewells have been said this week, and I tried to remember to say thanks to the myriad entities who enriched our lives this year and are now passing away. Wherever they alight, may they all be well and happy.
OK, I like spiders, and I don't mind picking them up when the occasion calls for it. Orbweavers (in particular) are handsome creatures, and they spin the most gorgeous webs in summer and early autumn. At first light, coming across one of their creations in a hedgerow, all glistening and hung with dew like pearls, is something special. I may be a little strange, but you already knew that didn't you?