Spotted this creepy looking spider while venturing out in the backyard during the dark of night. Needless to say, it was rather eye-catching.Here today, at least in the morning, and gone by lunch time...such was the case with this magnificent example of arachnid architecture which was spotted one day last week.

Fossil Day...and a big ol' spider in backyard

Please read this...

A celebration 300 million years in the making happened on Wednesday: National Fossil Day was October 13. The National Park Service says on its website that “National Fossil Day is an annual celebration held to highlight the scientific and educational value of paleontology and the importance of preserving fossils for future generations.”

National Fossil Day is part of Earth Science Week, which began October 10 and continues through October 16.

As you may remember, yours truly is a bit of a fossil nut. Goes back to my childhood and finding a fossil of a horn coral while on a hike at a summer camp near Grafton, Illinois. I still have that little gem. It’s in a box upstairs. Somewhere. 

I still like to do a little bit of fossicking (as they say Down Under). Often, searching for treasures from life which existed millions and millions of years ago is more about getting to spend some time outdoors. 

The Other Half thinks I’m little bit crazy to spend time looking for fossils when the temperature is, say, about 34 degrees and a few snow flurries are flying around. At least there aren’t any mosquitoes.

Hope you had a great National Fossil Day. I plan to “celebrate” the holiday this weekend...

Meanwhile (once again, I apologize to a certain late night television host for the use of the word “meanwhile,” which, most likely, has been trademarked or copyrighted in some fashion, not unlike “Super Bowl,” which was just used without the express, written consent of the National Football League)...

I’m having second thoughts these days about going out in our backyard in the dark of night. That’s because of the critter I discovered one night last week.

I don’t remember exactly why I ventured out into the dark of night. I think I may have been trying to track down the source of a noise in the night which was not familiar.

Didn’t find the source of the sound, but I did find the spider which you see in the photograph which accompanies this week’s column. The spider had spun its web on a sometimes-used clothes line in the backyard. 

Spider experts no doubt will know the name of the critter. All I can say is that it sure got my attention. 

Oh, by the way, I haven’t seen the spider since...

Meanwhile...

Speaking of spiders...

Often, in the morning, as I’m heading to metropolitan Anna for another day of adventures at The Paragraph Factory, I will keep an eye out for the latest creations which have been spun and woven by our eight-legged friends in the Arachnid family. 

The spider webs which I see in the morning often are gone by lunch time...if not sooner. In some ways, that seems kind of sad. It’s like finishing work on the Brooklyn Bridge, or the Gateway Arch, or some other magnificent feat of engineering one day...and then coming back the next day to find all of the work that had been done has simply vanished. I can’t tell if spiders ponder such things. I’ve not had a lot of conversations with spiders of any kind.

Let’s close with some news that was just a little bit sad. The owners of the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team announced they are retiring – and that 2021 was the last season for the team to be playing in Marion.

Daughter and I attended a few Miners games over the years. We enjoyed the games, the stadium...the whole atmosphere. Perhaps the Miners, or some other team, might still take to the field in Marion. We shall see...

Meanwhile...stay safe out there folks.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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