Sometimes, on a sunny morning in
Until three years ago, picking blackberries was synonymous with summer joys – warmth, camping, bicycling, hiking, tasty snacks, and good friends. I didn’t associate it with spiders until I moved to
Then the weather changed. On a sunny morning with cool, moist air, I strolled outside and saw an unimaginably beautiful spider web. It was a classic orb with dewdrops lined up along every silken strand. Each one captured the light and scattered it. I fetched my camera and took a picture, certain I would never see another web so lovely. But my gaze shifted to a different angle and I saw another.
On one such morning, my little granddaughter, Kady, freaked out about a spider in the house. She hates spiders almost as much as she loves diamond tiaras so I told her about the lovely web I’d seen. I wanted to make a few points for spiders, but she just eyed me suspiciously.
We went out for a walk. I’d forgotten the spider webs almost immediately and was mulling over the latest rumor of a neighborhood mountain lion. Suddenly Kady shrieked, “There’s one!” I looked for the cougar but, of course, saw nothing. “There!” she cried again, pointing into a blackberry bush. When I still didn’t respond, she said, “It’s what you told me about, the necklace fit for a princess.” I looked where she was looking and saw the sparkling web. The next second, my arachnophobic granddaughter was nose-to-nose with it in rapt admiration, heedless of its wary architect.
The dazzling webs stick around for a few glorious weeks. The berries continue to ripen, but more slowly. The air gets cooler day by day and the webs grow brighter with larger dewdrops.
Valerie Cooley is living in Coos Bay,