The farm is full of busy spiders this time of year. I always think of late summer and early fall as "Spider Season" as these eight-legged critters go from inconspicuous to conspicuous on their giant webs. I'm a shoulder-hunched-shivers-up-the-spine ooher and eeker when it comes to spiders, and of course the bigger they get, the more backward walker I become!
The only information I know about spiders is likely myth: isn't it true that they all bite, will fly at your face to crawl inside your nose and eat your brain, and might join you under the covers in the middle of the night if you don't stay tucked in? This misinformation was likely influenced by Scooby-Doo and other cartoon teachings from my formative years. Some people just get stuck on the learning curve! In the more level-headed learnings of adulthood, I have come to appreciate these creatures and their symbiotic relationship to my world...although the exact details of this interconnectedness is still mostly a mystery.
My son, Max and I enjoyed watching this beauty weave her web outside the dining room window between the glass and soffit. Master-builder that she is, her trap was laid in less than five minutes, and despite my back giving up an involuntary cringe and shiver, I admired her hustle to get the work done. The next day when I went to look for her, all I saw was a big hole in her work - the likely scene of a violent entrapment and feast.
In the greenhouse, nestled between the tomato vines, is a HUGE black and yellow garden spider. These things not only sew up giant orb webs, but lay out a glamourous track of zig-zagging. I wonder why the zig-zag, but as a human know-it-all trying to accept the fact that, really, I know nothing, I will digress to humble pie in this case and assume Lady Garden Spider knows more than I about the whys and wherefores of web-building. From the ego-centric human perspective, I can only speculate that this design is meant to delight my curiosity and attract attention.
There are so many unknowns in the world.
So, what do I know?
Sadly, the sunflowers are DONE with their spectacular display. This year's variety, Hornet, grew dinner-plate sized heads that are now hanging face-down and low on the stalk. The bright yellow petals have been eaten by insects or are shriveling and dropping to the ground. The great push to bring seed to maturation began when our friends the bees pollinated to beat the band buzz buzz buzzing through the fields doing their work. Now the seeds will fill in a bit more, then the entire plant begin to dry. By mid-October William will drive the combine through the sunflower fields to cut off the heads while the threshing mechanism inside the machine will separate the seeds from the plant matter. The seeds will collect in the hopper of the combine then get off-loaded into grain carts (or a bin) for winter storage. For many, the combine and its inner workings is much like a spider weaving a web...how in the world does it do that?
There are a few beauties still holding up their heads, but by the end of this weekend (August 12-15), the show will be over. Fortunately, sunflower beauty lives on in the store in our sunflower based products: Sunflower Oil, CBD Products, Body/Massage Oils, Sunflower Oil Soap, Salad Dressings, and a limited supply of Birdseed.
Learning to be humble in all assumptions...
And, sending love from the FARM,