Recently I noticed that some of the figs that the monkeys had discarded from their early morning raids looked something close to ripe. I picked one of the more intact figs up off the ground, broke it open, and took a bite. Don’t judge me.
It didn’t taste awful! I’m not all that sure what ripe, straight off the tree, not from a jar figs should taste like, but it wasn’t awful!
Obviously, I decided to look for (and found) a ripe fig up up up in the tree.
This was but the first fateful step in what would lead to my meeting with Peter.
Our fig tree is not short. Its arms stretch up over the roof of our two-storey cottage. I had my work cut out for me.
I steeled myself with the corpse of a recently felled wattle, a flexible, polyethylene bag, two nails, and my courage. Using naught but my wits (and a hammer), I combined the aforementioned materials into a stick with a plastic packet nailed to the end!
I was mildly surprised that I managed to get not one, but two figs out of the tree with my packet-stick. Sadly, one fell, and landed in the pot at the base of the fig tree. (One actually fell perfectly into the plastic packet!)
I trudged down the stairs and out the door, around the house to the back where the fig had landed. Scrounging unsuspecting through the vegetation in hunt of the fruit, I must have passed right by Peter…. without even knowing…
Lo! I found the fruit nestled in a fern. I snatched it, stood tall in triumph, and let out a high-pitched squeal! For but a hair’s breadth away from my face… was the beast!
A large, white, oblong abdomen decorated in dangerous colours, held atop a myriad of jet-black, menacing protrusions, led by a mosaic of eyes, fangs, and hair.
I stumbled back, gathered those wits I mentioned earlier, and ran to get my stick. The beast would be a test of my mettle!
Ok, actually I called Caroline – no! Not like that!
I just wanted to show her the beast!
Meet Peter. Peter is a Golden Silk Orbweaver of some kind. The photo doesn’t show it off very well (Tablet camera) but his/her web is deep gold, made in what looks like a heck of a tangle, not the typical spiral you’d expect. If you look closely (down and to the left of Peter, that little orangy brown smudge) you can see one of his/her babies! I found three in total, one is bigger than the other two.