Monday, October 31, 2016

Deck the rails with jowls of horror ...

Every fall, at least one spider helps us decorate our porch for Halloween.
  Come October, intricate webs appear almost daily, most often between the ceiling and the porch posts, or along the railing. This year I spotted one stretching from the porch floor to the electrical outlet above the foundation. 
  Those webs are beautiful, although darkly beautiful when you notice the tiny wrapped dinner packages stowed along the strands.
  One recent morning, as I headed out the front door to fetch the paper, a thin, sticky wisp brushed my cheek. I yelped and swiped it away, then noticed the broken web-in-progress: It would have covered the space between our door and the mailbox, a span of about 2 feet.
  That did give me pause. Just what — or who — was on that spider’s menu?
  Happy Halloween!
   I did a bit of research on Pennsylvania spiders, and I believe our porchmates are Cross Orbweaver spiders, or Araneus diadematus.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sonic joy ...
Walking today, I come upon a flock of mourning doves. They take off and it hits me: Their wings sound just like the flying cars in "The Jetsons"!
Simple pleasures.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I'm with her.

In case you’ve been living off-planet, Nov. 8 is Election Day in the United States.
If you live in Pennsylvania, tomorrow, Oct. 11, is an even more important date: the final day to register to vote in time for the election. 
For everything you need to know about registering — and voting — go to the votesPA website: You can register in person, at places like government and campaign offices; by mail; and online.
I’m a proud Democrat, but I care even more about democracy, and the right to vote. (Don’t get me started on recent laws passed that make voting more difficult, many of which, thankfully, have been struck down by the courts.)
This afternoon, I stopped at the Democratic field office in Elkins Park.
“I have an hour and 15 minutes. What can I do?” I asked.
They sent me to a shopping center in Willow Grove, in search of that most elusive and highly prized person in these electoral times: the unregistered voter.
I took off my Hillary pin as I got situated and reviewed the form. (I try my best to be non-partisan when I register voters.)
I’m happy to report that most of the people I spoke with were already registered. One mom took a form home for her son. Then two men signed up — one, a 26-year-old, had never voted before; the other just needed to update his address.
Score two (and maybe three) for sidewalk democracy.