Pope Lick Again

I sometimes wonder if we see what we look for. I realize that statement needs a lot of clarification. What I’m thinking about is my most recent walk at Pope Lick Park. I don’t take the same trails each day. I’m not in the same mood each day, although my mood always improves during my walks. 

Today Floyd’s Fork was high and muddy and I enjoyed it in the morning mist. Even though it was quite early, I was not alone. Bikers, walkers, runners and even one person on inline skates were out there with me. I add this for one of my readers who worries about my safety. I am one of many enjoying the Parklands and being truly alone is rare. 

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Usually when I am in nature I think of little else. Today was no exception, however there were no deer, squirrels or even birds to hold my attention. One of the first things I noticed was my least favorite living creature. You guessed it, spiders or at least their homes. https://crookedcreek.live/2016/09/21/one-fear-explained/ Right away I noticed a dew covered web on the ground that reminded me of “angel hair” we used to decorate trees with at Christmas when I was a kid. The matted looking web had a hole that lead to a tunnel. The photos are not as clear as I’d like, but perhaps you can see what I’m talking about. As I walked there were many more such structures mingled in the grass. I cannot help but wonder what other sights I might have missed because I was looking for these spider homes. 

 

With the editing feature on my camera, I was able to crop one photo with the resident builder at home. I assure you that I did not get that close! I hope you can see him here. 

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It was a day for spider exploration, but a good day for a walk nevertheless. They were minding their own business and I was very careful to avoid interrupting their day. 

One more photo, but from a different type home above in the trees. 

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The next time you see a spider web, please, pause and look a little closer. You’ll be seeing one of the most high-performance materials known to man. Cheryl Hayashi

Kim, the Spider

The Jumper

National Geographic has announced that the University of Manchester has taught a spider named “Kim” to jump six times “her” (how do they know?) body length on demand. 

https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/180508-spider-jumps-on-demand-animals-vin-spd

Why? Do you ask?

Yeah, me too. It seems to be in preparation for tiny robot training. OK, fine. If they had to do this fine, but did they have to post that grisly video of almost two minutes of Kim showing off her acrobatics? 

https://crookedcreek.live/2016/09/21/one-fear-explained/

 

Theme graphic in title by Pixabay

 

Update

Update to “One Fear Explained”

A few days ago while putting gas in my car I spotted a spider on the pump. Not just any spider, but the worst kind: big, black, and hairy. It looked at me and I knew that I would not be able to complete my task. I asked the attendant in the little glass cage if he would help me and he graciously agreed. While he topped off my tank and replaced my gas cap I sat in the car with the windows rolled up. I let my window down a crack to say, “Thank you” to the nice man and he casually asked how long I’d had arachnophobia. My reply, “Since I was a preschooler” prompted him to say, “WOW! That long!”  So, now I drove home not only frightened but insulted by my hero. 

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One Fear Explained

For as long as I can remember, I have been afraid of spiders. More specifically, I am terrified that spiders will crawl down my collar. My reflexive action upon seeing a spider, no matter how small, is to pull in my neck and hunch up my shoulders making my collar as tight as possible.

Lest you think I have entomophobia, (that is what you were thinking, righIMG_3477.jpgt?) allow me to present just a few photos as evidence that I love critters. In addition to the grasshopper above, here is a caterpillar which was recently chomping on my rosebush. I removed it by hand and placed it in my fairy garden where it could eat to its heart’s content. One day a couple of months ago, I stopped while shopping to photograph this cute inchworm on a flower near the entrance of a grocery. I think that she is adorable and I would have brought her home as a pet had she not looked so IMG_3052.jpghappy there. Speaking of taking bugs and worms home, here’s a cicada that I found on the front porch and it is currently in my living room. Okay, I said that I would always be honest with you, dear readers, so, I must admit that he was dead when I found him, but still, he is here in my house. He’s just too handsome to toss outside. I really do nIMG_3358.jpgot fear bugs. Okay, honesty check again, there is one that bug that I loathe as much as spiders. To me, the centipede is simply an elongated spider, but I do realize that it has more than eight legs, so does not qualify.

Many years ago, while reflecting upon my childhood, I recalled a day at Vacation Bible School at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Shelby County, near Anderson County where we lived. The day’s lessons, songs and Bible verses were vague memories, but I suddenly remembered our play period vividly. I suppose it is not unusual for children to remember recess, but this was different, in that we preschoolers were allowed to play in the cemetery that surrounded two sides of that country church. We respectfully ran among tombstones, carefully avoiding stepping on the graves, until a little boy noticed a small round hole on the top of one. He inspected closely and declared that he could hear something inside! Although frightened, we all lined up to take turns listening. When it was finally my turn, I knelt down and put my ear to the hole. He was right, there was a loud roaring sound coming from the hole and before I knew it there were millions of baby spiders on the ground and my cotton dress. They were on my shoulders and arms and, worst of all, they were crawling down inside my collar. With this horrifying memory, finally I knew why I have arachnophobia, a pathological fear or loathing of spiders.

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Mt. Vernon Baptist Church