May 21, 2008

Summertime, And The Living Is Easy

Summer isn’t on the way anymore, it’s already here. The humidity is already wrapping the air with it’s oven-warm damp blanket, and if I still had long hair, anything longer than stubble it’d be frizzy.

The redwing blackbirds are out and about, filling the air with their raucous trills. There’s one brave male, his shoulders splashed with bright red who likes to spend his day patrolling our front porch. He’ll land and strut about, glancing around with the imperious, black-eyed glare that only a male bird can muster. He walks about, pecks at whatever fresh insects are in the cracks and crevices around the wall and the sill, and he always stops to cast his imperious gaze at the tinted glass of our doors. He’ll stand there, draw himself up to his full height, flash his scarlet epaulets and trill loudly, putting his entire body into the effort as if to demand we fling the doors open to his august presence. It’s obvious from the tone in his voice that he’s demanding we allow him to gorge his royal self on the piles of juicy insects that we’re no doubt keeping hidden from him.

This morning the spot where I park my bike was covered with pale, lacy-winged bugs, all dead. It was the pale green insects that I think are called “lacewings” because of their gauzy, ephemeral green wings and miniscule bodies. It was the spookiest thing, seeing so many of them dead, literally dozens and dozens. I’m accustomed to seeing the front walk covered in dead bugs, especially after the hated Orkin man sprays his toxins all over, but never so many in the same place, as though they had been poured into a loose pile from a macabre envelope.

I stooped down to see what was going on and realized that they were all shells…shed skins. Dozens and dozens of them, perfectly shaped and empty. I guess last night was the moment for them all to shed their old outer garb and start anew, and they had chosen this place to host the grand unveiling. I can only wonder what it looked like; so many fresh, pale green bodies emerging from old, yellowed chiton, stretching out into the warm, moonlit air. Unfurling green lacy wings into the starlight, ready to take flight anew.

How I envy them that moment of rebirth.


Batgirl said...

I loved those bugs growing up, because they were the easiest to catch. They'd always be found hanging out on the side of some building. I'd grab them by their wings and let them crawl all over me. I always wondered why they never flew away. Then one day, when I became older, I realized that grabbing them by their wings totally messed them up. Oops.

Batgirl said...

P.S. I'm active again...

meno said...

You should take pictures of the skins.

Irrelephant said...

BG, we do lots of harm as kids, not knowing what we're up to. I know I've done my fair share. We live and learn, though, don't we?

meno, I tried but they were so small, and lying as they were on the black asphalt I never could really get a good frame of them. One of those things that it's simply easier to write about than photograph, like sex.

Nancy Dancehall said...

Hee! A post about wings!

If there is one thing you've taught me sire, it is to appreciate all the little things.