Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sliding through webs

It is morning and I am looking out at the garden. Such as it is. Ellie has just asked me to hold the one perfect strawberry we found so she can jump on the tramp and spy for spiderwebs. "I don't like those big tangly webs with the ginormous spiders, but I do like to slide through the teensy ones."

She sits next to me and rubs her feet on Copper's fur. I ask her if she'd like to eat her strawberry now, "I think I'd like to wash it first, just in case there are teensy, tinsy bugs on it what you can't see."

The garden has been neglected this year. I planted it, hoed it, fed it, watered it and no weeds grew. I trained the tomatoes up strands of baling wire and hilled-up the potatoes. But still, the tomatoes' skins split and the peppers developed burned spots and the spiders--oh, the spiders--are everywhere. Funnel webs dot the flowerbeds every foot or so. I had no idea there were enough insects to support such a population--an inundation, really--of spiders.

I think about how the nights are cooling as evidenced by the slowing of the crickets' chirping. I read somewhere that you can tell what temperature it is by how many chirps there are per second, but I think it was in a Trixie Belden book so maybe that isn't really true. I worry those spiders are going to come inside and I think about how the weather stripping has peeled away from the basement door--a perfect welcome mat for invaders of the eight-legged variety.

"Mom, does Copper like it when you pet her?" she stops petting for a minute and Copper turns and looks at her expectantly.

"Yes, she does."

"I wonder what it feels like to her."

"Maybe like a hug or when I tickle your back."

"I will pet her all the time then."

I suppose gardens and dogs and people are all the same....it's not enough to feed them, and train them up, to weed them and groom them...they need to be loved, too.


Heffalump said...


Deena said...

Love this.

Anonymous said...



athena said...

it worked. let's see if this will work.


Anonymous said...

True words. Very true words. And I haven't thought about Trixe Belden in like 35 years!


Emma J said...

Ahh . . . I loved sitting in your garden with you and your Ellie for a few minutes while I read this.

athena said...

you are such a poet. beautiful writing and reflection. let me know when your first book comes out! :-)

Omgirl said...

Time to put up a barrier spray around your windows and doors! This is the season those nasty spiders start looking for a warmer spot to stay. EWWWW!

Up in Bubbles said...

Good writing, so thoughtful.

Omgirl said...

EW! We have those same spiders that hide down in their hidey hole on our bushes out front. if I found one on my strawberries, i'd probably never eat a strawberry again. As it is, we have slugs on our strawberries. Nothing is so gross as getting ready to bit into a big juicy strawberry and finding a slug in it.

Except a spider on it. That's grosser.