"Who would live happily in the country must be wisely prepared to take great pleasure in little things.
Country living is a pageant of Nature and the year; it can no more stay fixed than a movement in music, and as the seasons pass, they enrich life far more with little things than with great, with remembered moments rather than the slower hours.
A gold and scarlet leaf floating solitary on the clear, black water of the morning rain barrel can catch the emotion of a whole season, and chimney smoke blowing across the winter moon can be a symbol of all that is mysterious in human life."
Henry Beston: "Northern Farm"
I may have posted the above quote previously. It is a beloved expression by a favorite author.
I have lived most of my life in a rural setting. Recognition of the cycle of seasons, the changes of weather, an awareness of the birds, insects, animals and plants that shared my particular space came naturally. My father and my maternal grandfather would have scoffed at labeling themselves "nature lovers." They were simply men who noticed their natural surroundings, stored up country lore and passed it on in down-to-earth fashion.
As a young girl I tried to put into written words the beauty and intrigue of what I observed; the birdsong of spring; the heat, sunshine and rain, the rush of growth that is summer; the colors and rich scents of autumn; the crisp, crackling cold and snow of New England winters.
It is good that none of those wordy, over-written pieces survive!
In my 20's I discovered the writings of Henry Beston, Edwin Way Teale, Hal Borland, writers who observed the patterns and quirks of nature and distilled them into elegant prose which evoked the pictures I had no ability to paint.
In time I discovered that those authors who can take me on a tour of their particular corner of the world, drawing me into the scents, sounds and landscapes of their homeplaces are the ones I choose to read again and again over the years.
The person who delights in noticing what lives and grows around her/him need never be bored.
I wander the same territory noting and photographing the same garden, the same roadside, the familiar dooryard at every time of day, in every season.
Somehow it is important to me to record these marvels of nuance and to share them through this blog.
Last week the busy spider added another egg sack, attaching it to the topmost one she had previously anchored to the front porch post.
For several days afterward she appeared nearly lifeless, her body deflated, her web in tatters.
Having read that argiope aurantia produces one to four egg sacks and then expires, I wondered if her time had come.
On Thursday morning I found that she had wrapped up a butterfly who blundered into her web and was taking nourishment. She revived and seemed to be mending her web.
The following day I sat with my mug of coffee, absorbing the feel of the early morning, when I noticed that the spider was busy in the center of her web. As I watched, she bobbed up and down repeatedly, setting the web into rhythmic motion. Fascinated, I crouched on the edge of the porch for a closeup view. With each dip of her body, she dotted a clump of sticky "thread" onto the web, reinforcing its weave. [Rather like using the darning mechanisim on my sewing machine!]
I dashed inside for the camera. When I returned she was putting the final zig-zag in place.