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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Deeds of Derring-Do | Full of Wild Inaccuracies and Exaggerations

On Commuting [20090812|22:18]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |sleepy]

Along came a spider harvestman


There is a section of my train ride home where the track is inexplicably raised tens of feet above the surrounding countryside. It's not far out of London - only fifteen minutes or so on the fast train to Cambridge. The view from the train at sunset over the fields of grazing horses is spectacular. The southeast of England is not a particularly hilly place, and thus a passenger has perhaps 30 seconds to appreciate it before plunging into a tunnel. Some instinct prompts me to look up from my book to see it nearly every time even though I haven't been riding tis route for long.

Sometimes I continue to look meditatively out of the window after the tunnel is past. If I were a giant, I would reach out and run my fingers along the golden furrows in the fields. I would pluck a few telegraph poles and build a teepee frame, and unravel some hay bales to wrap around it. (I would leave the hedgerows alone, though - wouldn't want to disturb the spiders.) I would pluck a branch from a liquid amber tree, crush its leaves all at once under my nose and inhale that sharp spicy fragrance. I would scoop up a handful of damp earth, tilt my palm slightly and let it sprinkle past the carriages. I would delicately ruffle the curtains in the farmhouse window, just to see them flutter and not enough to disturb the occupants. Before the station, I would plunge my hand in a pond and fan my fingers to dry in the rushing wind.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: returntosender
2009-08-13 06:47 (UTC)
I love this picture. Do you know what type of spider it is?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-08-14 10:33 (UTC)
Thank you! According to the more biologically inclined persons on my LJ friends list, this is not a spider, it's a harvestman.
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[User Picture]From: helpful_mammal
2009-08-13 07:48 (UTC)
I think your spider is actually a harvestman, since its cephalothorax and abdomen appear don't seem to have any clear distinction.

As for looking out at the countryside.... that's what trains are for! Oh and going places, apparently. I generally forget to look out of the window until, for some random reason, I suddenly remember and then I think 'ooh'. Or possibly 'ugh' depending on the immediate environs.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-08-14 10:35 (UTC)
My (weak) defense is that I'm not a biologist. Thanks to my LJ friends and Wikipedia, I now know that a harvestman is of a different order to a spider. Who says the internets aren't a source of education?
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2009-08-13 12:27 (UTC)
That's no spider! It's a harvestman. They don't have segmented bodies. And they much cuter.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-08-14 10:37 (UTC)
I like spiders too! I don't mind them in the house, anyway.

Also, thank you for the biology lesson. It's good to be learning about the things in my garden. :-D
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2009-08-13 12:28 (UTC)
Oh also, I love watching the beautiful scenery out of trains. I used to love watching the changing seasons on the line from Kilmarnock to Glasgow - so beautiful, especially at dawn on a clear frosty morning with the mist in the hollows.

The Glasgow - Edinburgh line (via Falkirk) is also very pretty.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-08-14 10:37 (UTC)
Ooh. I need to ride that line at some point. Still haven't been to Glasgow, despite multiple trips to Edinburgh.
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2009-08-14 11:42 (UTC)
You're welcome to come and visit sometime!
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From: pbristow
2009-08-13 22:20 (UTC)
"If I were a giant, I would reach out and run my fingers along the golden furrows in the fields. I would pluck a few telegraph poles and build a teepee frame, and unravel some hay bales to wrap around it."

...And the telephone companies and the farmers would be round with their writs for damages in the morning. And be duly stomped into oblivion because, hello, *GIANT*? =:o}

Lovely imagery though. [SALUTE]

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-08-14 10:38 (UTC)
I'm trying to imagine the size of the fine British Rail would impose at finding a giant paid for a single seat on a train...
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