Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Writer Spider

We went to pick strawberries yesterday at King's Hyrdrofarm. The day was sunny, the sky blue, the temperature still mild. The strawberries were fading fast, at the end of their season and we came away with juice-stained fingers from many half-eaten berries. I found the number of insects, especially spiders, to be reassuring. When we first came to their farm, the Kings assured us of their conscience farming practices, yet the presence of insects tends to announce what might not otherwise be seen: we are taking the natural path! I know, in our little backyard patch of a garden, I picked off (and no doubt ate) a huge quantity of tiny little slughsdon't want to think about the number of slugs I expect I ate this year on my own lettuces in our backyard patch of food. This lovely lady
we learned, from Janet King, is Argiope aurantia, also known as the Writer Spider. Janet explained the spider makes designs in the web, like writing. You can see the zig-zag cutting through the bottom of her web. We wondered if this was the inspiration for Charlotte, from Charlotte's Web, and Dory expressed several times how she did not like this spider and also described the general color and shape of her to Ms. King. We left and I kept thinking- if this is homeschooling, sign me up. I felt filled up on the experience, my heart ready to burst at the simple pleasure of this simple day. I've missed my home. I've missed this daytime freedom. I'm feeling excited. Homeschooling appears already to be in progress...

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