Wednesday, October 7, 2015

spider season

Posting once a season whether I need to or not!

The rains have returned, and with them a lot of the hope that seemed lost in July and August. I went outside yesterday to sow a few seeds for winter-friendly crops, cabbages and greens, and discovered in peeking at neglected garden beds that they're not as disastrous as I feared. One of the raised beds has some sturdy parsnips growing in it; the other has potatoes and rejuvenated kale. The carrots that I left to go to seed over the summer did so, and scattered seed around their half of the bed, which is now already starting to produce tiny feathery seedlings. The everbearing strawberries take their name seriously and I brought in a heaping handful of them last night, and the raspberry canes that had all withered over the summer now have bright green, healthy leaves.

There's a lesson in this that I need to take to heart, and carry with me; Depression Brain is quick to declare that things are RUINED FOREVER but that's not what nature does. "Forever" is an awfully long time. Things change, and keep changing, and 'tis a rare wind that blows no-one any good. The rigid patterns that we declare "the right outcome" are never the only ones with value.

Spider season is a good time to meditate on that. They're some of the most maligned and ill-treated of our near neighbors, despite all they have to offer. Around here they become most visible in late August through sometime in October, plump orb weavers spinning broad webs between any plausible pair of attachment points (I've seen them suspended between power lines more than once). Things are changing, they say. We have things to accomplish before the long dark. I try to say hello and wish them good hunting when I see them. I try not to disturb their webs. They're readying to lay their eggs, wrapping up hundreds of them in a tiny silk pouch to safely wait out the winter and be ready to patrol next year's woods and fields. Many of them make a habit of tearing down and eating their damaged webs, reclaiming those proteins to be used again. They know that someone bumbling into their web doesn't mean things are ruined forever.

I should too.


  1. Such a lovely post. Worth the wait. Thanks.

  2. This is at first a response to the question on ADR about collapsing as an individual within relationships. Secondly, I enjoyed your garden report, and spider observations. This is the time of year I start taking Vitamin D, till about July. (for SAD). But not because depression is bad; it's real, and whatever is real is helpful.

    (Up to a point)

    I've been collapsing for about 30 years. I just didn't want to support the nuclear arms race. Or the conventional arms race. Or the Rat race. What I did was learn by trial and error, how to do things like repair chairs. It's now a long list of skills useful to lots of folks. All boil down to being a producer, and not a consumer. 30 years ago, I wanted to learn how to work with brick and cement, but it wasn't till 5 yrs ago I had the chance to make a masonry heater (a Swedish Contraflow design). The people and places I lived with up till then didn't permit/require such a thing. This year I'm restoring a cedar-canvas canoe (for pay), and with the leftover canvas, I plan on making Sailmaker's Ditty-Bags. When I have canvas working skills in hand, I'll sew a couple of sails for a 14' dingy. Not that I'm close to any large body of water! but who knows? someday I might be.

    If the people around you aren't interested in collapsing before the rush, what are they interested in? Whatever it is, maybe you could support it with some work of your hands. Feet?