Thursday, October 9

Attractions & Distractions + Chocolate Mug Cake!

***Before I forget, Frankofile awarded me the Brillante Blog Award. I have a copy of it on my sidebar, so won't repeat it, but thankyou so much & I really do appreciate your thoughtfulness! Please go visit, it is very entertaining, & I have no idea how I would do in a 'Foreign speaking country'!

Today, while lolling about in the garden, reading & enjoying the slight breeze, & lovely sunny skies, I noticed this little spider, busily building it's web. The sun was at just the right angle to shine on the thread, & so I grabbed the camera to track the progress.The support stays (?) were all in place, in a triangular shape, & the spokes had already been created. It was the spinning of the orb, that I observed, & I was fascinated to with the progress.
Round & round the little spider went, spinning/weaving yet another round upon others. It moved in a clockwise direction, & I watched the struts of the orb, move, & vibrate, like the wires of a piano, as the keys are struck.

I wondered what sound, the vibrations would make in the universe, as the little spider wove it's magic web?

I thought what a pity it is that we cannot hear that music.*

I don't think I have ever watched a spider create a web before. I have probably never had the time! I took these pics to try to capture it all, & have just been out, in the evening to capture the pic of the little spider & he/she has a prey all bundled up already.

It really is a very small spider, less than 1/4" in size. There is an even smaller one in a little round web above this one. Alas the tiniest spider has no dinner waiting in it's web.

Of course, the sunlight has gone from the web now, & so the web is invisible. I tried the flash, but it still didn't show up. I wish I had a super duper camera, but I am reasonably happy with the one I have- it is not very old, after all.

While enjoying the beautiful clear, warm, & non-humid day, outside, I noticed this large black butterfly. I was quite excited when it stopped to rest, & soak in the sun.

It almost seemed to pose for me, then flitted off, as I approached. I was disappointed, but it landed again, on a leaf slightly higher than the fern & so I crept up, & snapped away using the zoom feature to try to get a better picture.
I am guessing it was quite recently hatched, (?) but have no idea where from. I am glad it remained for me to capture in photographs.

I must get some Impatiens as I know a lot of the butterflies like them to lay their eggs upon, & later, the huge fat caterpillars munch away happily on the leaves. Gom has most successfully eradicated all our freebies, or volunteers, as the Americans call them. Really they are 'upstarts'! & very welcome too!

Our Adult Granddaughter, has rescued a neglected little dog, so now, I am the proud great grandmother of a little Maltese/Shitzu cross dog. His name is Bailey, he is adorable, & very well trained. I will get some pics as soon as I can to show him off. He is currently residing with our granddog, & they seem to be quite happy together.

*********** Chocolate Alert!!!

I suppose I am lagging behind with this recipe.

I found it on Del Quilts.

In case you have not discovered it yet, here it is.

I confess I have not actually tried it yet, but all reports seem to be success!

Five Minute Chocolate Mug Cake!!

1 Coffee Mug

4 Tablespoons of flour (that's plain flour, not Self Raising)

4 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons baking cocoa- I guess that is our cocoa powder, here in Oz.

1 Egg

3 Tablespoons milk.

3 Tablespoons oil

3 Tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)

Small splash of vanilla.

Put dry ingredients in mug, & mix well. Add the egg, & mix thoroughly. Add the milk & oil & mix well.

Add the chocolate chips if using, & vanilla & mix again. Put your mug in the microwave, (on a paper towel or paper plate) and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed.! Allow to cool a little & tip out onto a plate & eat with a fork. Or if desired, forget sophistication, & eat out of the mug. haha.

There are tips. It is sometimes easier to spray the mug with oil or grease it well before adding the mix. It is also easier to mix in a bowl first, then place in the mug. It can be tipped out, & sliced, to be served for 4 with some vanilla ice or cream!

It apparently shrinks from the top, so dont worry if it looks as if it will topple over.

My Microwave is not a 1000 watts, so I am assuming I might need to cook it a little longer. I will let you know! If you make it, please let me know how it goes, & show pics! I will link you on here, if you do!

(Is that egotistical? I hope not, I really would like to see your efforts, & I am sure others would too.)

I am rather afraid to introduce Gom to this recipe, as he is the Chocoholic in our family. Although I do think our SIL leaves Gom for dead in this respect!

*Not everyone's cup of tea, but have you ever considered this?
Music, can influence the formation of crystals, in freezing water. Mataro Emoto has certainly done some fantastic photography, of his research, but of course there is a lot of counter research to his ideas. I find it quite fascinating.

Queen, Fat Bottomed Girls.


bluemountainsmary said...

The cake sounds wonderful - really wonderful...

And your photos are great - I loved seeing the path the spider took

and am very jealous of the butterfly photos - they are incredibly difficult to capture!

meggie said...

Ah, but Mary, your photographs are much more magical!! I hope the cake is as good as it sounds.

fifi said...

very clever capturing those images of the the spider, and the huge butterfly. The web patterns are extraordinary....

Kitty said...

LOVELY photos of the spider spinning it's web. I too should like to hear the sound it creates. If one played different music to the spider, do you think it would make a web with different qualities?


Lee said...

I'm game! I'll give it a go and get back to you...

Linds said...

I haven't tried the choc cake yet, but also have the recipe in the to do pile. Will let you know.

My border collie was also called Bailey, by the way - a great name!

Stomper Girl said...

Fantastic web-cam work there Meggie. (See what I did there?!?!)

Pearl said...

Nice spiderweb photo's, I've often watched spiders building, over the years, they look beautiful in early morning heavy fogs too, when they have lots of water drops on them, magical.
The chocolate cake sounds great, I might try it sometime, but I'll have to change ingredients to gluten & lactose free, so may it not turn out.
I love my chocolate.

Q said...

Dear Meggie,
I also have watched an Orb Weaver make her web. Fantastic weaver!
Thank you for showing your spider. I love all the bugs.
The Black Butterfly is absolutely beautiful!!!! Do you know her name? Thank you so much for posting her picture. I love the butterflies...just love them... and the caterpillars. I am looking forward to your spring and summer. My leaves are starting to fall and soon I will have frost. Seeing your bugs will keep me sane during my winter.
Dr. Emmoto is a fine man. I too am facinated with his work.
Wonderful post.
Thanks for the bugs...

Lucy said...

It's a worldwide web now!

Lovely bugs. I'm not too fussed about the idea of a cake cooked in the microwave, I think I'd probably just eat the chocolate.

Mike said...

Uh-oh. Better not let my wife see this recipe. Could be trouble.

Thimbleanna said...

Beautiful nature pictures Meggie! If it's any consolation, spider webs are very hard to capture, even with a fancy camera -- or, well, it's probably just me.

And you've found the choc. mug cake! I tried it and had great fun with it 'cause I had lots of funny comments on my blog about it. I must say that it was reasonably awful though!

jovaliquilts said...

That cake sounds like such a hoot -- sorry to read that Thumbelina found it "reasonably awful"!! If you get other opinions, please let me know. I may try it sometime anyhow.

Exuberant Color said...

I love your nature photos, especially the butterfly. I have never seen a black on before.

The Sagittarian said...

Just sending you a hug really. You were the first "real" person to respond to my blog. Thank you! XXXX

The Sagittarian said...

What I meant was. I feel like that spider.

Tanya said...

Looking forward to seeing the doggie. I'll try out the chocolate but I need the extra calories like I need another cat!

ancient one said...

That spider web in the makings and your pictures of each step were outstanding.. I usually see a finished web, but had no idea how it was made.. I have a big spider and his web next to my porch. I'm waiting for a foggy morning to take the halloween decorations are really made by nature...LOL

Del said...

The chocolate mug cake is not a five star recipe, but it is very dense, like the flourless chocolate cakes that seem to be in every restaurant these days. It is more of an emergency munchie because most kitchens have all the ingredients. I even used olive oil because I don't usually have cooking oil. I like the cake, but whipped cream would help - heck, it would help anything.

Molly said...

Meggie, it sounds like you missed the Great Microwave Chocolate Cake Debacle over at Thimbleanna's blog. it was a hoot. ditch the micro recipe and go over there and get a real chocolate fix!