Posts Tagged ‘sinks’

A spider

For more than a week, a small grey-black garden spider has stared down from my ceiling.

Each day, never traversing more than a few feet, one direction or the other, this way or that.  Undecided.

This is the time of year garden spiders find their way in by mistake during cooler evenings.  One never knows exactly where spiders come from.  At daybreak, there they are–sitting ducks for a broom or other lethal weapon.  Doomed by their ick factor.

I appreciate spiders, inside and out.  When necessary indoors, I place a drinking glass over them, slide a slim piece of sturdy card under them, and convey them outside.  The spider on the ceiling was a different matter altogether.

As dedicated as I am to saving lives, I was not mounting a ladder to precariously attempt a rescue against a textured ceiling likely to rip its legs off, and cause me to lose enough balance to fall and break mine.  So I waited.

Yesterday my high school-aged child noticed the spider, crammed into the crease between the ceiling and the wall.  “Kill it,” he said.

I explained I was waiting for it to come down, as it surely would.  He didn’t believe me, but asked if I would kill it then.  I said, “Of course not.”

A high-pitched scream alerted me that the spider had come down today when I wasn’t looking.  Arriving on the scene, my child excitedly pointed in the sink.  And indeed,  there it was.

With glass in hand, I carefully approached the spider, but not before it noticed the movement and darted down the sink drain.  Ankle deep in water, at the bottom of the drain, in an unapproachable spot, the spider thrashed.

“You killed it,” he said.  “You might as well turn on the water and flush it.”  I decided to leave it, hoping the spider would climb back up. I heard an Eensy Weensy spider once successfully did something similar.

Half hour later, the spider, still ankle deep in water, was moving less. Contributing to the death of a spider was not what I had in mind.  I cut a thin strip of sturdy cardboard to fit through the grate of the drain.  I slowly extended it downward into the shallow water.

Regarding it suspiciously, the spider did not do much.  Can’t say I blamed it.

It moved two soggy legs onto the cardboard, and then hauled the rest of its wet self onboard.  As I slowly pulled the strip up,  it fell off, back into the water.  I tried again and so did the spider.  As the cardboard moved up again, I hoped the spider would untangle itself and make its way onto the underside of the drain grate, and then through it.  The cardboard life preserver was too thick to pull the arachnid through the grate.

Slowly, the spider did just that, and was soon perched on slippery stainless, unable to go up, without sliding back down toward the drain grate.  I laddered the cardboard between the drain and the sink and it popped on.  It was only a second until the spider was back on the flat porcelain sink bottom.

My second attempt to catch the spider under glass was successful, and it finally got outside onto the dry deck.  It seemed stunned by natural light, or maybe it was just wet.  It stayed maybe five minutes and then very rapidly made a beeline for points–and life–beyond.

A lot of trouble, and a lot of text, for one spider. But I imagine it appreciates its life as much as I appreciate mine.  Nice when we can help each other out.






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You might notice the tagline of this page reads “a bog from life’s dusty crossroads.” It is no mistake, but the result of a fortuitous slip of a finger made while describing this space via email to a list of lovely women that I have the pleasure to know.

My first encounter with a bog was when Dixie Rose beckoned to me to see an interesting plant. Forever seeking the most direct route, I accidentally plunged neck-deep into a spongy, stinking mess. I recall rather vociferously proclaiming my displeasure.

Okay, so it may only have been knee-deep. I was four, Dixie, an avid naturalist, birder, photographer and writer, was about 104, with thick glasses and the kind of dusty, stacked library that would cause a bibliophile to swoon. Her husband, Ed, seemed about 110 to me, a tall man whose battle with cancer had left him with an electronic voice box. Ed was straight-out and as gracious as the petals of his last name.

Since then, I have had a predilection for mire. My last encounter spanned almost twenty years, and is currently working itself out in the form of  divorce. If there is muck in my general vicinity, I will most likely, sooner or later, find myself face down in it.

But let’s not be hasty. Bogs can be interesting places. Pretty rugged things live in bogs, things that don’t need a lot of nutrients, things that can live in acidic environments. No chaff here.

Bogs also fix, or hold, about one-quarter of the carbon outputs harbored on land – another one of those “sinks.” So that crummy stuff we don’t want to breathe, that we don’t want in our environment, is happy to find a home in a bog.

And better still, as a wetland, a bog is a process. In the proper inhospitable conditions it takes in the strange, the stinky and the scorched and, over a great deal of time, can eventually produce good stuff – nutrient rich stuff – that feeds the things we grow and makes a pretty nice fire.

Plus, you never know what you might find in a bog. Those acidic, nasty conditions can preserve things quite well. Dating from 3,000 BC, the Ceide Fields in North Mayo, Ireland, were preserved under a peat bog, a Neolithic treasure for modern man. I think bogs preserve a lot of that old stuff, maybe not always Neolithic – maybe just thirty-or-so odd years back – slowly being turned into energy, and worth uncovering from time to time – especially if you happen to find yourself face down in it.

So you see, a bog can be a special place, hence my tagline. Dixie Rose is long gone, Ed passed on before she did. Dixie could stand the muck, she found the most beautiful things in it. I do my best. Here’s to you Dixie.

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