Friday, July 10, 2009

Up to my Neck in Riches

Impatiens capensis

Crouching here, I can almost sense her watching,
still, from beyond the thick cover of grasses in this shallow arm of water, her babies scattered to every edge, buried in the dense, tangle of green.
A Wood Duck, so very shy of my approach that, even from yards away, she takes to the air—as she sounds the alarm, and disappears into the safety of the woods.

If I could wait, hidden, for her return,
she would be so lovely—
her crested head and white eye patch, the only marks setting her apart from the dark browns and deep greens of this little farm pond.

So, I creep a little closer,
settle a bit lower to the ground,
and bury myself in the translucent green stems of jewelweed drinking from around the rim. Tender leaves glistening with small beads of rain, their pendulous flowers of brilliant orange and red, hanging from just a thread.

(click photos to enlarge!)

Oh, now I’ve done it!
This nest of sleeping spiderlings, awoken—
they run in every direction, screaming,
“Save yourselves!”

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Kenton and Rebecca Whitman said...

Oh! One of our favorite plants! (Okay, we have many, many favorites, but . . .) We even wrote about them on our website --

We love the jewel-like quality when you hold them underwater, and the delightful anticipation when you touch one of their exploding seed pods. What magical plants, and your writing, as always, was enchanting!

Michelle Johnson said...

Those baby spiders remind me of a time when my first husband and I went fishing somewhere. Along the way a bunch of baby spiders were crawling everywhere. When I opened the back hatch I started feeling a tingling sensation on my arms. When I look down I saw spiders all over me. Needless to say I done the happy dance trying to get them off. My ex laughing behind me. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Have a great night.

Arija said...

Nina, your nature photos are a true delight! All those spiderlings scampering and taking to the air on their almost invisible threads....aheer magic...

Wanda said...

...and all those baby spiders didn't make you tense one little bit I bet...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I just love jewelweed. I have tried to get it to grow here to no avail. It is amazing how wood ducks always have their eyeliner on. They must never want to be caught without their makeup. Spiderlings...I wonder where Momma was???

T.R. said...

I've never seen jewelweed - and having seen it would never have guessed it an impatiens. It looks like an orchid. Just a note of warning: should you ever find yourself in Oklahoma again, crouching down in the lush, green jungle-like foliage (of which we have plenty) would not be wise. I can't begin to tell you the amount of chigger bites you would amass - spiders being the least of your worries. I wish you would come visit again though!!!

Deborah Godin said...

Wouldn't you love to be able to stop and congratulate the person who named this "Jewelweed"! And I love the description of the terror people create in baby spiders...when worlds collide!!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Snort of laughter!

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