Spider Update

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Finally The egg ball burst and a bunch of baby spiders have emerged into the world. That was a very long pregnancy, if you can call it that. 

 I bet Mother spider is starving but she hasn’t moved from the spot surrounded by her babies. 

  

Meanwhile mother spider number one is still in the same spot surrounded by what looks like the skeletal remains of some of her babies. Was this natural selection or was she hungry?

   

  This is how it looked at the end of last month
  
And now I can see that the small skeletons were already there so I’m wondering if the stronger babies grew by feeding on the weaker ones. 

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My Journal

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The last time I hand-wrote something was a few days ago, when I wrote in my journal.  Actually, it’s a little bit more than that, and the answer to the Blog 101 prompt should have been “every day”, since my journal is actually a daily writing practice called ‘morning pages’ which has fallen a little by the wayside recently and which I’ve been trying to revive.

The idea behind morning pages is to unload everything onto the page as soon as you wake up.  A sort of emptying of all the stuff that’s swimming around in your head, and a clearing up of space for new input in the coming day. It does actually work in the same way as people talking to a stranger on a bus or the barman in a bar.  It’s a way of relieving tension without risk.  When you write it all down on paper you can close the book and know that you haven’t divulged any secrets that should have been kept to yourself.

Writing with a pen and paper is slower than typing.  Each letter has to be formed individually, and there is something unique and artistic about writing by hand.  Every person’s handwriting is different to the next person’s.  Some people write carefully and take time to form the words.  Others scrawl large and quick, covering a lot of the page with very little content, spreading themselves out thinly.  Others squeeze a lot of words onto the page.  Their handwriting is cramped, the words almost indecipherable.  Sometimes even they can’t read back what they’ve written.

Regardless of your writing style, the idea of morning pages is to write at least three pages before you do anything else every single morning, whether you have anything to say or not.  Sometimes you’re reduced to just repeating “I don’t know what to write about” over and over again just to fill up the pages, but when that becomes unbearably boring you suddenly find something else that you can write about.  A stray thought, a half formed theory or story, it doesn’t really matter as long as it fills the pages.

I first wrote morning pages at a time when I was under a great deal of stress, and it was one of several valuable tools that I used to get me through those times.  I also believe it’s a great way of putting your thoughts and ideas into some sort of order, which is why I’ve been trying to take it up again.  Unfortunately, I’m not doing very well at keeping to the daily pages, which is why it’s been several days since I wrote anything by hand.

A Walk in the Village

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I’m just back from a walk to the village store. I had a couple of letters to post and I needed to buy some eggs.

On on my way back I noticed that the damson tree that hangs over the road at the top of the hill has  almost finished fruiting. Quite a few of the fruits were  definitely overripe. 

  
I had nothing with me to carry them in so I could only pick a handful.  They taste like nice ripe plums but the skin has a little tart kick to it. They’re quite small – about the size of a cherry.

  
This one has clearly been drilled into by some insect, probably a wasp, so I won’t be eating it.

  
Further down the road blackberry bushes are loaded with ripe fruit that just drops into your hand when you touch it.

  
Once again I could only pick a handful.

  
They taste nice and delicate but the seeds are quite large and woody, which I don’t like. I enjoy mixing them with apple in cupcakes.  

This is one of the nice things about living in a village with fields and hedgerows all around, filled with wild fruits that are free for the picking.

Spiders!!!!

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I hope you’re not scared of spiders. They don’t scare me unless, of course, they’re members of one of the more dangerous species. 

But the spiders I’m talking about here are  quite harmless and members of the daddy longlegs spider family I think.  I noticed that two spiders in my house had hatched a bunch of baby spiders.

   
 
So cute. This was taken 2 weeks ago. At the same time I spotted another spider with what looked like a fat belly, but after blowing up the picture realised it was carrying a ball of baby spiders.

   
 The first picture was taken two weeks ago, and the second picture was taken this morning. As you can see the spider is still carrying the ball of baby spiders, and they don’t appear to be any bigger.

So I did a bit of searching online and found out that in summer the baby spiders will hatch within a few weeks, but in the autumn it may take months for the spiders to hatch, which means the mother spider will carry them around for all that time until the weather gets better I suppose. It will be interesting to see which category this spider falls into.

Apparently spiders can go for months without eating, which is just as well if they have to cart a ball filled with baby spiders around with them.

Back to the drawing board

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I wore the necklace yesterday when I went to play bridge at the club. One person complimented me on it, but when asked for the truth said that she wasn’t too sure about the tassely effect or the bead/macramé combination. This was pretty much what my children felt so I decided to go back to my original intent of making the macramé into a bracelet and the beads into a necklace.

The nice thing about jewellery making is that if you don’t like the finished product it’s very easy to take it apart and start again. So that’s what I did. I made the beads into a necklace by adding extra beads, and then started to unknot the macramé. This was easier to do than I expected.

  
I then decided it would be quite nice to add some white beads to the bracelet so as to tie it in with the necklace. Sort of like this:

  
But that means undoing the entire length of the macramé and starting again, which I don’t have time to do today. So that’s a job for tomorrow, and I may add earrings.

Macrame Necklace

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I was trying out a macrame design for a bracelet but kept on going till it got too long, and then decided to turn it into a necklace. A bit random, I know, but I’m going to try it out at the bridge club tomorrow. I suppose I shall either have to wear pink, blue or yellow clothes, or maybe even black or white.

I wonder if I have time to make a pair of matching earrings.  Hmmmm……