Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nature Study - Paganini Spider

Today was one of those days when I had planned on getting outdoors, but by the time 3 o'clock rolled around, we still weren't ready to go. I thought "Forget it, it's too late now. I'm too tired. Don't feel like it." You know how it is :)

Thankfully, my 7yo daughter gave me the push I needed and we headed out the door. We have a very young citrus orchard by where we live that if you hunt around, you can sometimes find a ripe and tasty orange or two, so we decided to head over there today with the kids to see if we could find the Giant Swallowtail caterpillar. Jen told us it feeds on the leaves of citrus trees and looks like a big bird poop!

It didn't take long before I was feeling completely revived. It was a beautiful day with a cool breeze in the air and hordes of fresh encelia and marsh fleabane were growing along the damp creek.

At the citrus grove we didn't find what we were looking for, but we did find this spider building it's very large web between two orange trees. There are many spiders like it this time of year here. Everyone complains of how they drop from the trees at dusk - I suppose if I had one fall on me I'd feel the same. But as I watched its busy legs weaving its web, I couldn't help but think of it playing Paganini's violin. I think it's the perfect accompaniment, don't you?