Creepy Crawlies

I just finished sorting through the last of the photos I took on our foggy morning walk last weekend and figured this set of photos deserved its own post. 

As we were walking, Eric noticed this gorgeous spider web off the side of the trail. I immediately waded through the grass and got up close and personal - only to realize that this particular web was inhabited. The spider had an abdomen that was at least the size of my thumb and yet it was resting so delicately on the underside of the web that I nearly missed it. I gleefully snapped photo after photo, getting as close as I could without causing a disturbance.

At one point, I looked up and realized Eric was back on the trail, a funny look on his face. And all he could say was, "I don't like spiders."

Which gave me pause...because I don't like spiders either. And yet, here I was - happily putting my face inches from the biggest spider I'd ever seen. 

There was a time not so long ago that I would have kept on the trail for fear of encountering the creepy crawlies that might be lurking just beyond the edge. No need for caution tape, a single strand of spider silk will do, thank you! But I think I can safely say that I have changed.

Just today I brushed aside a giant cobweb, spiders and all, while organizing my tack box. In the spring, I picked a swollen tick out of Cirrus's mane and then observed the grey and lumpy mass of its body in the dirt before squishing it with my boot. A couple of months ago, I used the barn outhouse with the knowledge that there was a fat garter snake coiled inside behind a piece of plastic (what can I say, nature called!).

It's not that these creatures no longer freak me out (because, truthfully, they do a little!), but I no longer let the idea of them keep me from doing what I want or need to do. They're just reminders of how alive the world around me truly is - all of these little organisms going about their business as determinedly as I'm going about mine. 

And if all this pondering isn't the best way to ring in the season of reflection, then I don't know what is.

Welcome to Autumn.