Sunday, August 11, 2013

Spiders, Spokes, and Blueberry Pies

    I am fascinated by spiders.  Not to say I want one crawling on me, but I think they are amazing creatures, and I adore photographing them. Every summer I find myself creeping very close to rock walls, peeking into corners near doors and windows, and scanning gardens for likely subjects.  Usually we have a wolf spider living near our back door, whom we name Pete (to make it seem less scary). To our disappointment, this year Pete was a no show. So, I have kept an eye out for other specimens.
     I am finding that  my new camera does not have as tight a zoom as I would like, so a new lens may be on the Christmas list this year.  A couple of weeks ago I saw this little critter sitting on the latch to our gate.
 I think it is a crab spider, but please leave a comment and correct me if you know for certain.  I was amazed by its gorgeously vibrant yellow, and by the complete lack of fear. It did not like the lens in its face, so it went into attack stance.

(Kind of cute when it is smaller than the nail of my pinky finger!)
     A rite of summer when you are small is learning to ride a two wheeler.  Our youngest has been avoiding this, because he is the type of kid who, if he can't do it right the first time, does not want to bother with it again. Lord help us when he gets to high school!  Last week, Drew  took some time to get him past this biking aversion, and a few yards at a time, he was riding.
Starting on the lawn makes falls less painful.

It won't due to have the chain fall off!

Look where you are going!


      The last few weeks have been very uneven for my children.  With Drew and me in rehearsals, they have been fending for themselves, and much of that time was spent on "screens": I-devices, computers, tv.   We were past due for some outside family time. So yesterday, after my daughter's training session for one of her volunteer positions, the kids and I went blueberry picking.  The Blueberry Farm is a wonderful place.  The woman who owns it is a dear, and tries to be out in the field to talk to her customers. She is a former student of mine.  She is 75 or so (I have lost count) and makes me look tall (I am 5'3" on a good day).  When she hands you a picking bucket she tells the children to be certain to eat some as they are picking.
     We picked nearly 20 lbs of berries, and when we went to weigh and pay she waved me off.
    "No, don't pay.  Just enjoy them."  I told her we had picked a lot, and I couldn't not pay.  Her response?
   "Yes, you can, I'm rolling in money."
   "Yes, and this is how you make it."
   "Nah, I play the stock market!"
So we are now making blueberry confections; pie last night, blueberry bread, jam, and cookies today,  and every bite is a little sweeter due to her kindness. It is all about paying it forward.