Saturday, September 8, 2012

a spider, a date, a!

We've fallen a bit in love with this spider.  Her proper name is Argiope aurantia, and we check in on her many many times a day.  Isn't she wonderful? Not only is she just beautiful, but she is an amazingly effective catcher of food.  Her web is spread across our comfrey plant (friend to spiders!), and it has a "zipper" of webbing that hangs below the hub, where she lies waiting.  The zig-zaggy zipper is called the stabilimentum, and there are many hypotheses as to why it is there: to warn mammals and birds not to run into the web; to distract from the hub, where she is waiting (unlikely, in my opinion.  I mean, I notice the stabilimentum, but there is no missing that gorgeous abdomen); reflecting UV light, it actually attracts insects. 

One morning we noticed a huge hole and a missing zipper, and she was working on a large insect (a bee?).  Only a couple of hours later she had repaired the hole, replaced the zipper and was again waiting, having tucked some of the food away for later. Impressive.

It has rained the last day, and there are a few trees in our neighborhood that are hinting at autumn.  I am right there with them, urging those little leaves towards a little glamour...

 We walked up to meet Dan for dinner the other night, before going to see a friend's art opening. We had time for some mugging before our food was ready...

(After this photo, Dan suggested we try making a picture where we don't look "weird", but since I found this to be the best one, I don't guess that we succeeded.  It looks like us, anyway!)

(All right, he's convinced me that this one's worth sharing - see, Mom? Here  I am!! )

Ah, another sign of the season: abandoned zucchini.  Does this happen in cities too?

She couldn't resist...

We roamed through the art show, featuring new faculty on campus, and then found our way downstairs where the girls and their friend, N., had set up a serious game of pool.  They had gotten started before we got there, having made quick work of the show, and had done a nice job of figuring it out for themselves.

Love that stance
 And then there was our walk home, through town and down the hill at sunset.

And since I took no photos of our friend's beautiful work, I will share one of the poems used in her work called oDE to ee cummings, which hung as an altered book of his 95 poems...

in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remember how

in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so(forgetting seem)

in time of roses(who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if,remember yes

in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek(forgetting find)

and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me,remember me

ee  cummings

"the goal of living is to grow"...indeed. 


merry said...

Ah yes, my beautiful daughter, there you are!! I'm trying to figure out if you were at Betty Boops or Casa - or somewhere totally different! Fall seems to be creeping in here too - beautiful cool air with sunny skies and color in the trees. From the cool nights or from the drought?

merry said...

Is this the daughter who spent her childhood calling spiders "foopahs"? You've come a long way, baby!!

Helena said...

What a beautiful day you had! Spider watching, flowers, trees, paths, loved ones, art, food, abandoned zucchinis. Seems like a cup-runneth-over kind of day!

I loved your "mugging"! You all look sun-filled and happy.

And I have to tell you: e.e. cummings and altered books are literally at the toppest top of my list of loves. Wish I could have been there with you all :)