Found Friday #43: Spider Season

I used to be afraid of spiders, but now, living in the country, I look at them as friends. Well, mostly. I certainly wouldn’t want to meet the wrong spider at an inopportune moment, and some relationships work best with a little distance. But I find the ones that set up shop around our property to be largely unintrusive, and interesting, and honestly, sort of beautiful. And it helps that their webs keep the other bugs and pests away.

Now that we’re coming into fall, I’ve seen several.

Mostly writing spiders, which as a writer myself, I can’t help but feel a certain kinship with.

That’s strange, isn’t it? But we women have stories in us, and deep down, I think we’re all weavers and makers.

And I figure, outside in the fields and trees and such, I’m really in their territory, not the other way around. So, as long as they keep to themselves, I’ll do the same.

Redbud Season!

It’s officially spring here in my little corner of Virginia. Today, it’s lovely – warm and partly cloudy, a bit breezy, just wonderful. And, most importantly (to me, anyway): it’s redbud season!

That’s a picture from last year, when I posted about the beautiful little redbud tree in our yard. Right now, the blossoms are just getting started.

I love redbuds so much. I just think they’re gorgeous, and nothing makes me think of home quite like they do. And, super cool, the blossoms grow right on the bark.

I only noticed that a couple of years ago. Isn’t that funny? That you can look at something your whole life and still learn something new about it.

Anyway, I plan to enjoy the redbuds in bloom for as long as I can. Winter might be my favorite, but there’s plenty to love about spring, too.  

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Cute Neighbors Edition

We’ve had a lot more snow so far this month than I thought we would, and it’s been so nice. Graham’s been out in the yard snapping pictures (including the little bird from my last post), and I just had to share this one.

This family of deer lives in the woods behind our house, and they’re…not the best neighbors. They eat pretty much everything, including the blossoms from our fruit trees, and they often get stuck behind fences. We’ve had to rescue them more than once. But, be that as it may, they sure are cute, aren’t they?

A Drive in the Sky

We had a really nice mini-vacation. We mostly stayed home – we hung out and watched movies, spent time with friends, and generally just relaxed – but we also decided to head down to Charlottesville for a couple of days. Graham had picked out some cideries for us to try, and he booked a really cute inn for a night. And then, on Monday, we took Skyline Drive home.

What is Skyline Drive? Glad you (maybe) asked! It’s part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and of Shenandoah National Park. It snakes through some of Virginia’s beautiful mountain terrain, and it boasts some of the very best views in the state. Like this one:

And this one:

And this one, too:

We took it slow and just enjoyed driving and chatting. We don’t often get the privilege of uninterrupted, distraction-free time together.

And then, at the highest point on the route, we ran into some fog.

Some very dense fog.

But you know, it was fine. The fog actually made the fall colors pop, and it’s kind of magical, feeling like you’re up in the clouds.

All in all, Skyline Drive was a really lovely experience, and I think we’re planning to do it again in the spring. It’ll be fun to see how the vistas change with the seasons.

September Evening, 2021

It’s been raining on and off today, and it’s nice and cool outside, and the sky is pink and purple, and the trees are starting to turn gold, and I just really think September in Virginia might be one of my very favorite things in the entire world.

Found Friday #40: Spider Writer

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not particularly squeamish about bugs and other creepy crawlies. (Except snakes.) I find them pretty fascinating, actually. (Except snakes.) So when Graham snapped a shot of this colorful lady while he was out doing some work on the house yesterday, my first thought was, “What a pretty spider!”

And she is, isn’t she?

I did some research today, and it turns out, this giantess is an Argiope aurantia, sometimes called the writing spider. They’re known for the patterns they weave into their webs, which often look like X’s and Z’s. They’re not aggressive, but they will bite if provoked, and they tend to stay in one place throughout their lifetimes. And an interesting bit of folklore: It’s been said that if you tear down a writing spider’s web or try to harm it, the spider will build a new web the next day with your name written in silk, thereby cursing you with bad luck.

So, I’ll leave her alone, then. Which is my general rule of thumb anyway, when it comes to spiders.

But it does feel sort of appropriate to have a writing spider close by. I certainly don’t plan to bother her, but I think it’s pretty likely that I’ll check on her every now and again, if only to see what new patterns she’s created.