Tag Archives: sunshine

Some days I love to sit and listen


I have sunshine again, after the hiatus it took yesterday. It’s a bit breezier today, so I doubt I’ll see any reverse-base-jumping spiders.

It’s a noisier day, too. The kids are back in school this week, and while we don’t live that close it, they are loud. They are apparently at recess, or whatever it’s called here. Lots of screams and shouts, and the occasional thwack of foot on ball. Or head on ball, if they play team sports like I did.

My washing machine is on, too. Doesn’t sound good when it spins, clunk whump rattle. I might have a look next spin cycle and hope it is just all the crap we piled on top rattling around, and not an imbalance. I hate trying to figure those out.

I also hear the ever-present rooks, ravens and crows chattering away to themselves and each other. Sometimes one will perch on top of our chimney and giggle to itself. Imagine a dirty old man telling jokes in a dark corner of a pub, and snickering at every line. Sounds quite creepy coming down the flue.

No cow calls today, nor donkeys, nor chickens. Too late in the morning for them, I suppose. Perhaps they are all too happy with the sunshine to complain.

We need to cut the grass. Its been wet for so long the task is a difficult one. The garden is small, and we have limited storage space, and we try to be green – so our mower is one of those old fashioned rotary push mowers. Fuel is expensive, too, but both of us have plenty of calories to burn! It works great when it is dry, not so much when your lawn is a thin layer of grass floating on very slippery mud. We need to borrow someone’s petrol (gas) mower desperately. It would be nice to have the last cut of the year be an even one. Currently it looks like hell, and the dog doesn’t like to poop in tall grass. I hate sweeping the floor to clear the little loose bits that follow us inside, too – Spot eats them, then of course barfs them up again. I rake, but my back doesn’t like it, and our compost bin is full.

I also need to ask Himself if he’ll help me winterize my potted plants. I don’t want to leave them sitting in trays full of water when the frost starts. It’s difficult to pick a day to do this, however. A sunny day is a good one for working, but also makes winter seem so far away. It’s such a mess out here, though. You’d never believe I pressure washed the lot back in April. In any case, the blueberry bushes are in big pots and I shouldn’t be trying to lift them. Then I’ll have to wash and store the trays somewhere. That’s the part I’m really not looking forward to, our tiny shed is unbearably cramped since the Weber grill iDJ lusted after was found on sale and moved in.

The kids have gone to lunch. I hear a high flying jet, and a truck beepily backing up somewhere in the distance. And my washer, which sounds much better now. Maybe it was just a hairball.

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.