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A White Spider mission

THE WHITE SPIDER BY MICK O CALAGHAN


When the weather looks inclement, I get up, look out and having breakfasted and done the morning chores I don my old walking shoes, a light raincoat and cap and head out. I have no pre-determined walking route in mind and am open to all suggestions.

On one occasion I met an old friend of mine and having determined that we were both ok health wise we sauntered along past a few high trees and had to endure the caw cawing of the garrulous crows overhead and then beyond that the noise of the river flowing along. This was very relaxing

Now we walked along at a steady pace, and I asked my walking partner if he had any route in mind for our morning constitutional. He had nothing in mind except to say that he was going in search of the white spider which he knew lived in these woods. He had also heard that a rarer white butterfly with black spots had been seen about the area lately and off we toddled on our two-man spider mission.

As we strolled along, I had to identify a St. John’s wort flower using my newly acquired plant recognition app. My walking partner was really impressed by my ingenuity and skill. We casually snapped a few more weeds and wildflowers, for plant recognition purposes, but while were three quarters of an hour into our journey there was no sight of the elusive white spider. I thought I was being taken for a bit of a jaunt but I also new that my walking partner could spend up to five hours waiting for the right glint of sunshine on a fern leaf before he snapped a photo.

As we crossed the spike bridge and headed for the long lane through the forest, I could feel some tension in the air.

Were there aliens ahead?

Had we tripped on some lost planet in the woods?

No, we were in perfect habitat for our spidery mission. I was hushed into silence and had to tip toe forward and I could see a camera with lens pointed and there I saw it. The little lovely elusive Mr white Spiderman was in our sights.

We focussed and zoomed and clicked and reclicked and our newfound friend just sat there and stared at two humans all excited over a spider sitting on a lovely purple foxglove on an average summer day.

We knew though that we had mission accomplished , we had snapped the white spider.

I was quite excited by the adventure and was ready to amble home for lunch when we discovered a butterfly which neither of us had ever seen before and he had to be clicked and appropriately snapped and commented on.

Finally, we were able to start the walk home with apertures safely put into lockdown mode unless some other rare species appeared.

Nothing more exciting happened than a Friesian calf whimsically looked at us on our return journey.

Overall, it was a great two and a half hours spidery journey through the woods.

Postscript ; In the afternoon one of the grandchildren came to our house for his first visit in 3 months and I showed him the picture of the white spider. He was so excited by it he wanted to go on a slug hunt around our garden looking for spiders, ants, bees, wasp slugs, snails and we had to photograph every flower in our garden and any insect he could find.

Overall, I think that was the busiest child-minding stint we have ever done and all because of one rare white spider adventure.

Mick O Callaghan

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