The black-stockinged Orb spiders are busy creating amazing webs throughout the gardens. I have run into them numerous times already. (If only I could get the picture from the early Tarzan shows out of my mind. The one where that explorer stumbles into a giant spider web and is quickly wrapped up and sucked dry by the mammoth spider. )
This year the webs are larger than normal, for some reason. The web we found this morning was easily two feet across and yes, the spider was equally impressive. We tossed a small grasshopper into the web so we could watch what ensued. All went as expected. The Signs which point to the final few weeks of Summer are all around us now: Orb Spiders, the Perseids, a smattering of yellow leaves among the green on the cotton woods along the drive, the scent of Curly-Cup Gum weed growing along the roadsides, grasshoppers.
Seldom do the signs align for good viewing of the Perseids meteor shower. Many years there is too much moonlight. Sometimes there are clouds, or a haze of dust from fieldwork, or smoke from wildfires somewhere to the southwest of us. Sometimes, rarely, it is raining. But this year was one of those years when everything was 'practically perfect in every way' as they say in Mary Poppins. There were even a few late season fireflies winging lazily around the cemetery, gently decorating the time during which no meteors were visible. (Yes, I watch the meteor showers from the cemetery on top of the hill. You don't?) I saw many long arcs, falling north to south mostly, a starry night with heavenly fireworks and no moon. Great stuff! The only thing that wasn't perfect was that no one else was there on the blanket to watch with me. That's okay, I had a long quiet visit with Danny. He didn't have much to say, which was to be expected. I had lots to tell him, so it worked out fine. He always was good listener. :) I stayed out watching past midnight on the 13th, so it was actually his birthday by the time I packed up and headed to the house.
Audra and I worked with Zane on his freestyle and underwater swimming technique quite a bit because:
#1. He really wants to be able to do cannonballs off the dock without the life jacket on and isn't allowed to until he can swim up and out of the deep water after he splashes down.
#2. He needs to be able to swim so he won't sink to the murky depths.
Probably by next summer he will be able to (maybe yes, maybe no). He is more interested in learning how to do the Butterfly than Freestyle or anything else, truth be told. First things first, Kiddo. Little Rowan (age 2) has mastered standing neck deep in the lake and slowly squatting down under the water, mouth shut, eyes open. He then slowly stands up, smiles, and says, "I not drowning." I admit it sort of creeps me out because that's how kids look when they are, in fact, drowning. They silently slip under the water with their eyes open and don't come back up.
I have started back to work at the Spice Shop, a little bit. I work as long as I can and listen to my shoulder for cues as to when to stop doing what I'm doing. There are lots of different things I can do there so I can switch it up. I've missed the interaction with the customers, the employees and Able and Kari. It's good to be back. The shop has its big Three Year Anniversary coming up on the 19th of September (yes, there will be the annual pie baking contest, so be thinking about it. Pictured here are last years winners, Sandina and Bob with Able.) Shortly thereafter, following a wedding anniversary and several important October Birthdays, the Holiday season begins. Yeehaw! The tiger is becoming restless.
Many thanks to those of you who faithfully stop by and read the blog. Writers need readers. Yes, we love to write, but it helps when we believe someone is reading along. Peace and happiness to all of you, from the three of us: Me, Myself and I. "Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel." James Taylor. That's good advice if I ever heard good advice.