I have more legs than usual, or, My blog is named appropriately today


Two days in a row it has been lovely enough to sit outside for hours. It’s chilly, so I’m not in shorts and sports bra like I would like to be, but I have my sleeves pushed up and my sweatpants pulled up over my knees. At least my shins are getting some sun. It feels fantastic. I’m a sunshine junkie and I follow it around the garden from March until the winds drive me inside for the winter.

This will be my sixth winter in Ireland, and the angle of the sun this time of year still surprises me. We are so much higher in latitude than anywhere I’ve ever lived before. At 9 am, the sun was glorious coming through the windows of the house – but only the upstairs windows. The neighbouring houses block the sunshine from the ground floor. The sun just wasn’t high enough yet. Currently it is almost noon, and the length a shadow cast is twice the height of the object casting it. Weird for someone who grew up in Florida, where noon means no shadow at all.

There’s not a cloud in the sky, either, which is very unusual. Here, I’ll prove it:

That’s the sun! Funny warm yellow thing in my sky, please stay a while.

I’m surrounded by happy bees and wasps and bluebottles, all recharging themselves after the cold night. They are all trying to drink my coffee and sample my pumpkin seeds, too. I don’t mind until I have to fish a corpse out of my cup.

I’m also grateful that I actually do like spiders, because I am covered in them. The sun has brought out all the tiny baby spiders to send their parachute lines up into the breeze and carry them off to a new home. Which is me, quite often. I’ve picked three off me since I started writing this, and my shins are ticklish with the webs stuck to my stubble. My beloved Coleman folding camp chair (beloved because it has two cupholders) is covered in fine webs, and I just took a break to watch a spider the size of a full stop tilt her bottom into the air, spin, and launch from the arm. Amazing wee things.

One of my blueberry bushes looks like a Christmas tree sparkling in the sun: green and red leaves bedecked with silvery webs. I’m glad the berries are done, it is a bitch to clean the webs off berries, especially when dog hair sticks to the webs. Beware my blueberry pancakes, they might have extra keratin.

If I shade my eyes, the whole back garden is adrift in spidersilk. I can catch an aviator or two in action if I watch for a while.

Oh, that was a good one – I assisted another spiderling to launch, she was on my thumbnail and I expected her to spin. Instead she started crawling straight up in the air on a web I couldn’t see. I raised my arm, but she was still climbing straight up. I brushed the web free of my thumb and woosh! up, up and away!

Just had another land on my iPad as I was going to get up to see if I can photograph the blueberry bush. Probably was in my hair.
No picture. The crappy iPad camera can’t do it justice. And I had to check my seat before I planted my arse back down.

Sorry if I’ve freaked out any arachnophobes. I like just about all critters, with a few exceptions. I can’t hate anything without a reason, and spiders never gave me a reason. Quite the opposite, in fact, I’m having a great morning sitting here watching a free airshow.

9 responses »

  1. Great post – you write so well, for a moment I was there in your garden with you. Thanks, especially as we have no sun here today.

    (Florida to Ireland? Good grief!.

  2. My granddaughter has what she calls a pet spider that lives in the garage. She checks on it every day and keeps me posted. Yet, she doesn’t like spiders in the house. Size and location make all the difference, I think.

  3. I love spiders. We once had the most amazing yellow orb weaver in our trees in Florida. I was so sad when she disappeared. I’m constantly carrying them outside. Someone once told me it was bad luck to kill them inside… and sense them I’ve carried them out. Except the ones in my plants, they can stay if they want.

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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