10/4/13

Web Wonders

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It's dark in the morning when I get up now. The sun doesn't rise until around 7:15 or so. My morning consists of parking myself on the couch with a lap quilt and a cup of coffee. If I'm lucky, I get a cat on my lap. So this morning was no different, and even as the sun began to rise, it was difficult to see anything because it was quite foggy. Actually, I think we were in a cloud, but the result is the same. Eventually, it was light enough to see outside, and I was greeted to no less than five perfect spider webs laced with dew drops. Is there any sight in nature any more delightful than a perfectly round web covered in dew? The more I looked, the more webs I saw. Apparently, it is spider season.



I am as arachnophobic as anyone, especially when I walk through a web accidentally. Nevertheless, a perfectly built spider web is a thing to behold, and I never mind them when they are easy to see, as these were. This next one has a nice fat garden spider in its center. Do you see her?



There was another one, but it was too high up for me to photograph. Now I'm kind of excited for tomorrow to come when I'll have time to get out with my macro lens. I'll be hoping for similar conditions in the morning so that I can capture a few webs with my DSLR.

This seems as good a time as any to address a previous post when I cracked wise (who me?) about never having read Charlotte's Web as a child. I saw the animated version, but never read the book.


Miss Katie who blogs at Lethargic Lass told me I had really missed out, and so Mike and I listened to the book on tape while we were traveling last month. Katie was right. It was a wonderful story, made even more so because the audio book was read by the author himself, E.B. White. As I was trying to decide on a title for this post, I did a search for "spider poems" looking for a good line I could steal. Imagine my pleasure at coming across this poem about spiders written by E.B. White:

The Spider's Web
(E.B.White 1899 - 1985)

The spider, dropping down from twig,
Unfolds a plan of her devising,
A thin premeditated rig
To use in rising.

And all that journey down through space,
In cool descent and loyal hearted,
She spins a ladder to the place
From where she started.

Thus, I gone forth as spiders do
In spider's web a truth discerning,
Attach one silken thread to you,
For my returning.

I don't know when he wrote this poem, whether it was before or after he wrote Charlotte's Web, but if you do, please speak up.

So other than spiders, it's been a busy week. I started PT yesterday, and while I can't say my pain has decreased any yet, I was able to straighten my leg when I got out of bed this morning for the first time in months. I have always been able to straighten my leg eventually, but mornings have found it stiff and inflexible until I'm up and around for a while. It's too soon to say if that slight bit of improvement will last, but I took it as a positive sign.

Then I walked with my friend Sue for the first time in months. The two of us were busy with one thing or another, or one of us was injured (who could that be?), and so sadly, we've missed a whole summer of walking. Oh well. Today, we walked to Erik and Mae's new house, which is walking distance from the Fanno Creek Trail...yet another advantage of Erik and Mae's first home. They signed the papers yesterday, and will get the keys this afternoon. 

The house is currently vacant, and so Sue and I boldly went into the backyard where we could peer through the window and see the dining room, kitchen and living room. We also got a good look at the backyard. I stole this image off the real estate site. There is a mature apple tree in the far corner and a plum tree kind of in the middle. Erik says there is also a cherry tree, which we didn't notice. However, there are vegetables growing in the raised beds, and Sue and I wasted no time snatching some cherry tomatoes from the vine.


I figure there's a good chance I'll be living here when I'm old and decrepit, so I might as well make myself at home now. Erik and Mae are inviting a group over tomorrow night (including us! the parents!), and so we'll get a chance to see more of the inside then.

I have the stitchery for them all finished, but I'm still just giving peeks. Tomorrow I'll give it to them, and then I'll be able to show you more. For now, I'll just say that my plan to sew a "label" onto the binding worked out great.


I used the tutorial I found on Sew Bittersweet Designs. I followed the tutorial closely, but I ended up lining up the edge of my binding on the presser foot a little differently. I make my bindings 2 1/4 inches wide, and I needed it to be a little closer to the edge than it would have been if I had followed the tutorial exactly. To get it positioned right on the quilt, I used a chalk marker to mark the binding where the corner would be. Then I measured how long the label was so that I could center it on one side of the quilt, and then marked the binding again to show where I should start stitching. It all went very smoothly. 

After Sue and I walked, I went to Safeway to pick up some ingredients for a dip I'm taking to the party at Erik and Mae's tomorrow, and while I was there I got my flu shot. I know some folks don't believe in flu shots, but I've been getting them ever since I worked at the hospital....so about 20 years now...and I've never had any problems. And I haven't gotten the flu either...so, bonus!

As for the rest of the day, I have a little housework to do, and then I'm going to sew. But before I go, here's my Day 3 image for my National Park Pretty Photo Protest (NP4 to you). I imagine my protest is really starting to hurt those Washington yahoos about now, don't you? Power to the People! This next image was taken in Joshua Tree National Park, California, in January, 2008.



18 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lyndsey said...

Spiders webs are amazing but I'm not keen on the web owners, rather too many legs for me! You are as bad as me having a sneaky peek at Erik and Mae's new home. I'm not very good at the waiting bit. It looks great as does the bits of your stitchery you've shown us.

Cheryl said...

I love your photography of the spider webs, they are beautiful. We have a zipper spider by our mailbox and our kids love saying hi to it and watching it catch bugs.

Kate said...

Love all your web shots!

Erik and Mae must be so excited to move into their new place.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Gorgeous web, but I hope you squashed him.

WoolenSails said...

I freak out if I hit a web or one comes near me, but I love to watch them in their webs. I can handle a small one now, but the jumping ones really freak me out, lol.

Debbie

Janarama said...

Beautiful pictures of the spider webs covered with dew drops. Your pictures are always great.

Brown Family said...

I love the spider webs, especially with dew on them. I do not mind spiders, either. I know, I am weird! We had a boom of baby spider births last week. When they are born, they spew lots of silk so they can fly and spread out! With the humidity and wind, you could see the webs flying in the air. Many people did not know what it was,

Tami C said...

The spider webs with the dew on them were really amazing! I hope you have similar conditions so you can get some more pictures. So glad you were able to straighten your leg right when you get out of bed. I wish I could! Erik and Mae's back yard looks like it's going to be a nice place to spend time. The label on their Home Sweet Home quilt looks really good. They will surely love it! You protest has just got to be getting to them. Power to the People!

quiltzyx said...

Those spider web shots are wonderful! The humidity here today was... 4%!!! No dew drops here.

When you first were talking about the special 'label' for Mae & Eric's house warming gift, I thought maybe you were going to embroider a "tag" and then sew it on with the binding. Yours looks great!

I hope the PT helps to keep your knee more mobile. :D

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Spiders - I think I have more in the house than the outside. You keep protesting - yeah!!

Dana Gaffney said...

Don't you just love traditional spiders, some here spin more modern, but we have huge traditional all over too. My mom made me read Charlotte's Web when I was young, hoping it would help with my fear, didn't work, but it's a good book.

Michele said...

Wow those are absolutely amazing. And I for one aren't bothered by them...I just prefer to not have them in the house. They certainly belong outside. What I don't like AT ALL are them slithering things. I can't even call them by their real name, that is how much they creep me out.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Webs are especially pretty when the dew is on them! The backyard is really nicely laid out and the apples are definitely a plus. Good luck with the PT, maybe once they teach you, you can do it at home. I had to go through it for my knee at one time and for me it was expensive at 3x/week with a co-pay. They taught me what to do and I joined the Y which was much cheaper and had the same equipment.

legato1958 said...

Your photos are stunning... just beautiful! That was such a good book! Thanks for finding the poem, too.
Hope your PT will be helping your knee and pain!!

Susie

Jacque said...

(Raising hand) Fellow arachniphobe here....LOL Love your binding label; will have to check that out!

LethargicLass said...

I am so glad I was able to share such a great story with you! Warm fuzzies :) Love the backyard at Eric and Mae's... perfect for many parties, great for food growing, and perfect for your (hopefully) soon-to-be grandkids :)

kc said...

Your webs are beautiful! We have our very own spidey, and he/she spins his/her web every night - it's HUUUGE! It goes from our patio roof corner, over to the fence (about 4 feet away), down to the fern in a pot under the tree, and back up & over to the bottom end of the chain for raising & lowering the blind by the hot tub. Got all that? About 4 feet on each side - see, told ya, HUUUGE. And the spider is big to match the web! And he does this every night. I have no idea where the web goes in the day, but it's there (complete) when I let the puppy out at 11 pm, and it's gone when we go out again in the morning (7-8). Thankfully! We have a little flower bed under it, along the fence, and we have to water it almost every day & I'd hate to have to go through that web daily. Heck, I'd hate to go through it even once!

The new house looks really cute! I'd so be right there with you, peeping in the back yard...we walked the other night & peeped into the back yard of a For Sale home...and were surprised by the owner reading in the back yard lounger..apparently, they had NOT left the property, as we'd thought.

Good luck on your next PT session - love to hear that you can move it again.

Lynne said...

The label on the binding looks very classy!

Hope your PT is progressing well.