Discover Challenge: Here and now and everywhere

It all began while we were eating the evening meal outside on the terrace. It was a cold meal, so nothing had to be kept warm: just some ham, salad and cheese, nothing fancy. I was sitting at my usual corner place, making it easier for me to leave the table if necessary. Mr. Swiss was next to me and my son opposite.

Nothing special, just a normal evening. It was a pleasant early evening and then it happened. Something caught my eye in the garden. It was actually on the other side of the garden, but the garden is not an estate and small enough to cross in less than a minute. It is often easy to oversee things in the garden. I did find an ants hill once, actually two ant hills, but that was a quick process. Just some boiling water and the hills disappeared as well as part of the lawn. No big tragedy, it has now fully recovered after half a year. The gardener said the next time all I have to do is sprinkle baking powder, it kills them at once. He was right, the boiling water kills the grass as well.

I am diverging. So there we were having a family conversation and I had one eye on the thing that was moving in the garden. Had it been a butterfly I would probably only  been half looking, but butterflies do not fly in the evening, they sleep. I have never seen a butterfly in flight during the evening, even the bees stop buzzing.

I was half way through my meal, actually we all were, and then I had to go. I stood up and left my seat.

“Where are you going”

“There is something interesting going on between the stalks over there.”

“You need your camera.”

“Of course.”

I suppose Mr. Swiss did find it strange that I had had suspended the biggest, heaviest camera with the macro lens around my neck. I approached the flower bed and sunk slightly to my knees. It was then that Mr. Swiss was rather nervous. It can happen if I sink too low, I have problems in standing up again. 70 year old ladies do not bend down in the garden with a DSLR camera around their necks, but my curiosity was aroused.

I had been watching the action for at least 10 minutes and now I wanted to fix it in my records. For me it was a moment in time, but for the subject of my observations, it was a matter of live or die. You cannot be a spider without a web, otherwise how can you make your lunch parcels in the web. Here is the reason for my meal interruption. There was a garden spider constructing his web. I had been observing his movements from my seat in the garden. A photograph had to be taken. I knew I would regret not savouring this moment if I did not.

Afterwards I returned to the table and finished the meal with a feeling of satisfaction. This was yesterday, today he was still hanging in the web and I was sure he wanted another photo taken, but I really did not want to cause any excitement at meal time – again.

Garden spider 14.09 (2)

Discover Challenge: Here and now and everywhere

Daily Prompt: Fear Factor

I have a déjà vue with this prompt somehow.

People are afraid of all kinds of things: spiders, the dark, or being enclosed in small spaces. Tell us about your greatest fear — rational or irrational.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us COURAGE.

St. Andrews Cross Spider

The spider posed for the photo about two months ago. She was quite proud having given birth to her spider sack. She waved and said what about a photo, so I obliged. In the meanwhile mummy spider has gone to the happy spider hunting grounds and left me with her developing brood. Mr. Swiss has been given orders not to brush the sack away. It is poised near the crack between the wall and ceiling above the garden cupboard. It seems that one day I will be confronted with over one hundred motherless spiders and I will have to take the responsibility of guiding them into their brave new world. Luckily the new world is a vast expanse of landscape, so they will spread, go forth and probably again multiply. Perhaps some might make a new home in the cupboard below, but I do not mind. They will most likely eat the smaller livestock that might be creeping and crawling in the darkness of the garden cupboard: everything has a purpose.

I am not the gladiator in this world, ignoring all dangers and risking my life every day to overcome my phobias. Do I have phobias? I do not think I have time for phobias. I just let everyone else suffer, whilst I disregard any dangers and predators that may want to eat me, poison me or make my life unhappy.

Mr. Swiss takes a breath of relief every time I return from a shopping trip or excursion on my own. He is sure I will fall somewhere and break a bone or dislocate an important limb. This has all been there before. I do not really think of these things and carry on regardless, otherwise I would never go anywhere on my own again. I let him do the worrying. I am so convinced that I will return safe and unharmed.

I do not worry about being attacked or even being kidnapped. That only seems to happen to those that are wealthy, young and blessed with good looks. I am not wealthy, am not young and good looks – I leave that for the others to judge, although my younger son once saidI am now at an interesting age. I camouflage myself with grey hair and glasses when I am let out, but to be quite honest I do not have a choice. At least I am a natural type.

I suppose my greatest fear is for my father. He is 98 years old, lives on his own and can no longer walk so well. He just manages a trip to the kitchen to thaw his lunch in the oven. His house has two floors and he can only  climb the stairs to his bedroom and toilet with difficulty. I dread that one day he will fall down the stairs and it will not be noticed. At the moment he is waiting for news that there will be a special apartment ready for him with extra care. This will now probably at the beginning of next year, so if I suddenly disappear for a week or so I will be in England helping him to move. This is a Damocles sword hanging over my head at the moment, as I will have to fly over to London and organise things and do not have a clue how. Luckily I have some family members that will be helping and supporting me.

I am a realist. Things that go bump in the night, hide under beds or make funny noises are more to be explored to get to the root of the trouble and not to shiver and shake under the sheets. Being afraid of the dark does not come into the question. Sometime in the early morning hours I have to make a trip for human relief. The apartment is dark, no lights, and I have to manage it all on my own, being careful not to fall over a possible sleeping cat on the way. No problem, I just feel my way. I do not even bother to open my eyes, not much point when everything is dark. I must admit I have made a wrong turn now and again and found myself on the opposite side of the bedroom, but now always have my faithful and trusty iPhone next to my bed. A quick push on the right button and the electric clock illuminates the bedroom. Oh, the wonders of modern science and a big thank you to Apple.

There is something I hate, find revolting and just yuck. That is maggots. How can an  animal be mother to such disgusting, squirming wriggling ugly children. “Hello mummy” said the maggot to the fly. “Oh what a beautiful child” answers mummy fly and they fly away together. Not quite, mummy fly leaves her offspring to deal with it all on their own, and I would too if I had babies looking like that.

In the meanwhile the egg sack is still hanging outside in the crack between the wall and ceiling. I hope to be present when the hatching sessions takes place with my special close up DSLR camera. Watch this space for the blog “The birth” probably in early Spring.

Daily Prompt: Fear Factor

Fearful Pingbacks

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Look what I found living on the porch

St. Andrews Cross Spider

Actually it was Mr. Swiss that drew my attention to our new neighbour. She decided to make a nest at the angle between the top of the cupboard door and the roof, so I really had to use the close up lens to take her photo. Of course, the next step was to discover her name. It seems she is the female species of the St. Andrews Cross spider, also known as the orb spider I believe.

She is sitting on her egg sack which probably has a couple of hundred babies inside. I read that they all hatch out some time in Autumn and stay nice and comfortable where they are until spring, although I am no expert. Actually I did once take a photo of some hatchlings, so am waiting for the birth. Mama seems quite happy at the moment so we have decided to leave her where she is.

Blogger Creative Challenge 260: Under the ……spider’s web

Spider web in the sun

At last I am finished, now that was a tough job spinning all those threads, hanging in the air. Do they clap, do they praise me, is everyone happy. An unthankful bunch those humans. You would think they would appreciate the craftsmanship, the aesthetic reflection of the sun’s rays on my pièce de resistence. No, they do not. They just shriek and scream, running in all directions: “A spider! Get him”, looking for something to knock me off my balance. I have enough trouble with the rain and wind destroying my silky threads. Just a few drops of rain and I have to do repair work in my houseweb.

There I sit, having a munch on a flying object that happened to turn in the wrong direction in the right place for me and now nicely spun in a lunch parcel, preserved for dinner for one and I have to suffer from such disturbances, enough to give me indigestion.

There is one human that seems to know what she is doing. I always give her a nice spider grin when she gets ready with the camera. She does not always have an easy job. These super DSLR cameras register every quiver and shake. A web is a delicate piece of work. We spiders are the Picassos of the insect world. Unfortunately our artistic vein is not recognised by all, but that is a spider’s life.

So thank you Mrs. Human for the photo. That was a difficult job, balancing on the sun bed to catch me at a right angle. Mrs. Human even spruced me up a bit in her photo programme, chopping out all the unnecessary diversions surrounding my web. She knows what is important in a spider’s life.  I am famous. Thousands of people all over the world, at least the blogging world, have seen me. I might be the star of one of those nice nature films and win an Oscar. The first spider in the world with an Oscar, you all know where the idea of the Spiderman film originated, and no it was not Walt Disney.

And there she sits, Mrs. Human,  giving me an appreciative glance now and again, under the spider’s web. I gave her a wave with four of my legs just to show what a lovable type I am.

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