childhood, Naturalist

Inimitable Spider

Phiddipus audax, the Bold Jumping Spider, on a Prickly Pear pad. He was doing a threat display for me as I leaned in to take his portrait. The audacity of the wee beast! To take on a human thousands of times his size! You have to respect the unflagging courage of it. 

It’s no wonder the little Jumpers are my favorite spiders. That, and they are adorably furred.

My son asked me to take a walk with him the other day, early enough it was still cool enough to do so without courting heat exhaustion. I took my broad-brimmed hat, and went. We walked almost two miles to go ’round the pond they call a lake here in town, but it was worth while. Not just for the physical exercise, but the little things of beauty that spoke to me while we walked, and the company of this boy-near-man as we went. 

The pond with a glorified name.

The Little Man turns 17 today. I’m looking at his plans for the party this evening – a reverse event, where he is feeding people because food is love, and has requested that no gifts be given – and wondering where the time has gone. 

Indignant ducks reluctantly leaving their shade as we walked on the boardwalk above them.

This post started out with a comment on the spider, anthropomorphizing it. But really, it’s about hoping I’ve taught my son to be audacious in life, without being snotty. He’s a teenager. There’s still some snot. Perhaps, in time, that will dry up and leave a confident man standing there pointing at the walkway while I dodder along beside him. 


I hope they never grow out of wanting to show me the interesting bugs they find. Even the very dead ones.