Life cycles into the next phase, as we push into early Autumn. The heat has broken and gifted us with cooler nights. Afternoon light is becoming more honeyed and the billowing cumulus of August have given way to the shifting stratus clouds of September. The valley has been gifted with some rain. Following the summer drought, I am not sure if it will be enough to stimulate the vibrant colors we so much look forward to each harvest season. One can hope. The flames of Fall are beginning to lick across some of the maple leaves throughout the neighborhood.
Yesterday I was dumping the recyclable bottles out of the small bin on the back porch into the larger recycling container, in order to roll them out to the curb for pick-up. When I opened the lid, a length of spider web with attached arachnid caught onto my hair (in keeping with the usual theme). Luckily, the spider swung onto the pail (and not my hair) and perched there, contracting into a tight ball in response to the loud vibrations of the bottles cascading into the larger pail. When I was finished transferring the glass, she slowly uncurled, providing a chance to inspect her beauty. I think she might be a Spotted Orb Weaver (Neoscona Crucifera) or a Barn Spider.
I busied myself, slowly gathering up some refuse to put into the other pails, giving her some space and hoping she would decide to relocate. The thought of her hanging onto the pail and possibly being swept far from home when the collection trucks came the following morning bothered me a bit. Meanwhile, she threw out a few more threads of silk in order to hang on to her perch and assess her situation.
Fortunately, by the time I was ready to roll her blue container out to the curb, she had vacated, hopefully to a safer abode. I went back into the house and pulled her sticky strings from my hair.
The night insects are still about, their voices ringing, jangling bells. On last night’s dog walk, I spied a mantis clinging to the ceiling of the porch, perhaps hoping to catch a few nocturnal snacks. The angle of the overhead light created a cool-looking mantis-shadow. I wonder if she has left multiple egg-cases in the lavender again this year. When I get around to some Fall clean-up, I guess I will find out.
The peanut-bombing squirrel has been busy and has amped up his game. Daily peanuts and their shells are still being left on the porch in front of the door, but they are also being deposited into the pots of outdoor houseplants, some of which he has annoyingly dug up and damaged. Little does he know that those plants will be coming inside for winter. The squirrels run back and forth across the street, balancing large black walnuts in their mouths, the husks mimicking neon green tennis balls. With intentions of stashing them in secret locations, the Readying for Winter has already begun in earnest.
Last evening, after stepping out the front door to catch the sunset, I spied the silhouette of this aerial acrobat swinging above the corner of the porch. Perhaps it is the recycling bin spider, having escaped a potentially perilous adventure, now getting ready to lay her last clutch of eggs before succumbing to first frost.