Tuesday, July 26, 2011
If it weren't for Molly (our 4 year-old Lab, St. Bernard, shelter-dog mix), I probably wouldn't spend any more time outside than it takes to get from the house to the car and back again.
Except for the occasional smoke.
During daytime hours, we hit the back porch together, and when Molly runs off into the yard to TCB, I usually light up and ruminate about life. Now, I'm a pacer from way back, so I stroll back and forth thinking while Molly runs in circles, making qualitative judgements about why one plot of grass is more deserving of pee than another.
Sometimes, such hefty decisions give me the opportunity to hotbox two cigarettes.
But lately, at night, my ruminations have given way to an inexplicable obsession with that fellow at the top of this post. He's never around when the sun's up, but as dusk begins, I notice him perched in the seemingly empty space between one our porch pillars and the adjacent shrubbery. He's always in the pose you see depicted here, as if he's heard there's a new Spider-Man movie coming out and he's looking for an audition.
Come morning, he-and his symmetrical condo-are nowhere to be seen, until the next night, when he's open for business once more.
What fascinates me is this: There's no sign of he or his web in the AM, but in the PM, he just seems to appear. I never catch him in mid-construction; it's as if he has that web packed in a case, ready to unfold on an evening whim. And while I'm no arachnologist, I have to believe he deconstructs-then reconstructs-this contraption every twelve hours or so, just to make his daily bread.
That's saying something, at least to me. It's also why I tend to toss a bug his way whenever the opportunity presents itself. After all, teachers need to be properly remunerated.
And it's cool to watch him wrap his meals.
But Then Again, You'll Have This . . .