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  • Gerry

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

Charlotte is my garden spider.  She is a beauty.  Big as a hens egg, black with an iridescent yellow  markings on her back.  All summer she was busy working to keep the garden free of Japanese beetles - and doing a heck of a job.  Her web was a thing to behold.  Her species is native to North Carolina and is referred to as just a plain old garden spider.  She is also called a Writing spider because of the delicate furls she puts in her weave. (You can see some of that in this picture.) But here we called her Charlotte. After the dogs had their eggs, and treats, it was time to check the humming bird feeders.  All was well.  Until one of the kids (our dogs!) wanted to go outside again - about a half hour later.  That's when we saw the tragedy.



There wrapped in Charlotte's weaving was Squeak, our littlest hummer.  Who would have guessed this could have happened.  I suppose I should have seen it coming.  The hummers, excellent flyers as they are, just don't look around when they go tearing through the air chasing each other away. Well, you sure can't call 911 for a humming bird. We did everything we could to get her free.  She was limp and unresponsive.  No eye movement.  Not a flutter.  She looked like a little mummy.  I imagine she fought very hard to free herself, but just made the situation worse.


Well, once we got her out, we tried to remove the web.  Not so easy.  She had to have food, so we held the feeder up to her so she could drink.  Nothing for a minute or two, and then I felt the little body thrumming.  Her tiny little tongue came out and she started to drink.  She was so weak, and she could not hold her head up.  We continued to feed, and in between tried to untangle the sticky web.  I feared we would do more damage to her feathers than we intended.  I got on the web (pardon the pun!) and googled how do you clean spider webs of a bird? - Lo and behold, there was an article that directed how to take the web off an insect - I'll take it!  So with clear water, I dripped tiny little drops of water on the webs, gently petting the webs free...and they just dissolved.  She continued to drink, and with the wetness on her feathers, she began to flutter, and then Squeak started squeaking! Squeak continued to take the nectar for another minute, shook herself out, and flew on her own into the crepe myrtle bush.  From there she flew to the maple, and then over the top of the house.


Since then, we have been watching for her.  She finally showed up with the other three high flyers, bobbing and weaving in and out of the roses.

A happy ending for  Squeak.  Not so much for Charlotte.


Sometimes its hard to know whats right.

  • Gerry

"I wish I knew what I know now."


Have you heard that before. I bet you have. That sentence could relate to a dozen different scenarios. The one I am going to write about, is the one that all artists meet at one time (hopefully it's only once!) or another.


There you are, in a market sitting under your used canopy with your tables set up with all your hard work. If it was food, it would be a banquet. The colors are beautiful staring up at you. The sun is shining and this promises to be a great day, whether you sell anything or not.


As the morning progresses, people wander all up to your table and look, but you don't engage with them. They don't appear interested, and they wander off. It's as if you can read their minds:

" I won't look to hard, so she won't talk to me. I don't want to make her feel bad. I don't have any extra money to buy art. I'll just look and walk by. I sure don't want to waste her or my time"

But then you get that one person....


My one person approached my tables like she was drawn there through a geophysical invisible force. She appeared young, and very well dressed, impeccable make up - like she was coming from a fancy lunch or going to a tea. I could tell she was from the south by her accent when she picked up one of my paintings turned to her friend, who was equally turned out, and said, "Bless her heart. Look at this. She's trying to sell children's paintings. Oh ain't that too much!" Laughing, she tossed the painting on the table, turned and walked away.



Well, I was shocked. Not that she had something negative to say about my work, but that she didn't even address me about it, choosing a passive aggressive way of hurling an insult my way. It wasn't constructive criticism, it was destructive and hurtful. Because it happened so fast, I had no way to formulate a reply and maybe that was for the best. I think, at times like that your best to just leave those hateful individuals to the Lady Karma. She is consistent and loyal, and hasn't failed me yet. The only problem with Karma is that you don't get to watch the comeuppance as it occurs in real time.


So, dear reader, if you come away with anything from this, just know when you put yourself out there, cretins and malcontents are trolling, and looking for victims. And yes, no matter how hard you try to steel yourself, your ego will make you a victim. If you respond to them, you give them the power they are searching for, but if you choose to ignore them, they will flitter away with an unsuccessful engagement to account for to Uncle ScrewTape.


Till next time


Gerry


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  • Gerry

Some people ask me why I do a newsletter. Why do it when I feature other artists? What could I possibly gain from doing this?

Well, other than the altruistic "playing forward" and knowing that someone somewhere is sharing my work, it just seems like the best thing to do. In addition, if you really love art, do you want to save it, hidden away like a family jewel? Or do you want to show it to the world.

My gain is learning from others, their stories, and their techniques, styles, an message. That message for me is killer. I find it the hardest thing to do, and yet others seem to be able to roll it off their tongue. All I can muster is the greying tagline of past Miss America candidates - "My fondest wish is for world peace!" while adjusting my Miss Congeniality crown.

So the newsletter gets done on a monthly bases. If any of you are interested in signing up for a feature, just shoot me some pics and a bit of a bio. Here is an example of one that I will be posting this month. Let me know what you think!



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