Wednesday, September 12, 2007

crab spider, clock, "diamonds"

Climbing one of the purple Blauhilde french beans, which I am just about to pick from the vine, is a white spider. It hoists itself up, much in the same way as you see natives of the South Sea Islands climbing a coconut tree, except that it has eight legs rather than two legs and two arms. When it reaches the top of the bean, it walks along the stem, upside down and parallel with the ground. It strikes me that it is like a very small crab, and, sure enough, when I consult my book of garden wildlife, I quickly identify it as a common crab spider, not to be confused, I hope, with the common spider crab.

The clock above the railway station in Tunbridge Wells was out of order for about two years. Each of its four faces told a different time. Twice every twenty four hours( of course) each face had the right time, but this was of little help, unless you wanted to know the time at precisely the right time, and happened to be looking at the appropriate face. After a while people ceased to trust the clock and eventually no one looked at it. Who takes notice of a compulsive liar? In the last month, surrounded by scaffolding, the four faces were removed and the clock put back in working order. The scaffolding has now been dismantled and, in the last couple of days, the clock has been working as it should. Nobody I know has remarked on this. Has any one noticed that all four faces of the clock now tell the right time all the time? If by chance a passer by raises his eyes will he believe the time he sees there?

In the vegetable garden, I notice the tortoiseshell cat lying in the shade under the romanesco leaves ( a sort of brocolli, with pointed green heads rather like small green caulifowers). The cat is relaxed and watches, with a passing interest, the sun reflected off the CDs, which I have hung there to keep the pigeons away, as little blobs of light run across the earth and up the plants. Round the cat's neck is a collar with the letters FU picked out in damond studs, at least I would like to think they are diamond studs, for it is, I have always thought, a very superior cat.


Lucy said...

Those romanescos seem to me the nearest thing nature does to a perfect fractal.

Plutarch said...

You're right. I hadn't thought of that. They tend towards cones. My romanescos have unfortunately shown no sign of a "flower" if that is what you call the cone. You might say that of them, as they sometimes say of politicians that they are "all mouth", that they are all leaf.