March 30th, 2003

caillebotte_man at his window


I keep waiting for the bulb in my desk lamp to burn out. I can't remember exactly when I last changed it, but I'm fairly sure it was early last year. I use this lamp more than any other light in the room, but the bulbs in the other fixtures have been changed more than once since I put this bulb in the desk lamp. I wonder if it will turn out to be one of those bulbs that just goes on burning for years? I've never had one of those before. Every once in a while it will flicker, and I'll think that its time has come, but then it continues shining. I wish that the company that made that light bulb made computers.

Anyway. I'm experiencing that restlessness that arrives with the first warm days of spring. Again, I'm blaming the psychoactive properties of pollen, messing with my brain chemistry. I have a vague desire to do something, and so distracting is this unfocused desire that it renders me unable to concentrate, and I end up doing nothing. My excess of energy is dispersed into wandering thoughts which I am unable to organize. This is when being nocturnal is a distinct disadvantage. Were I awake in the daytime, I could expend the energy on gardening or some such thing, but the neighbors would be put out if I were to keep the yard lights on at night and I certainly couldn't do such things in the dark. Well, it will pass in a while, at least.

Last night the deer returned, and I was out on the porch when they came by. I heard them in the yard, but it was too dark to see them until they moved into the yard next door and tripped the motion sensor lights. Then I saw what is probably the same group which came by so frequently last winter. There was a large buck, two does, and two younger deer. They remained only a short while and, as I saw a few minutes ago in the pale light of approaching dawn, they didn't eat the pansies by the driveway. Maybe there was something tastier further up the street.

A short time ago, two separate flocks of geese flew over the house, their loud honks disturbing the other birds, so that a chorus of various squawks and chirps arose from the trees round about quite suddenly, and earlier than is usual. After a few minutes, they settled down again, having made their complaint to the rude ducks. Soon the growing light will rouse them for the day, though. I hope to be asleep before the clamor begins.
caillebotte_man at his window


Spring has brought insects. Bees are buzzing around the bushes, aphids crawling on trees, ants marching in long lines -- well, the ants were there most of the winter, too, but now there are more of them -- but so far, no butterflies. I'm waiting for the butterflies. In the meantime, I spent a few minutes watching some small flying creatures which are now swarming over the lawn.

They are quite small -- less than an eighth of an inch long, as I can see on those rare occasions when they briefly land, apparently to feed on something too small for me to see. When they fly, it is impossible to determine their size. In fact, it is impossible for the eye to follow an individual for any length of time. When the light catches them, they are like swirling motes, and might be mistaken for dandelion fluff. Then they turn and seem to simply wink out of existence. As each one loses the light, the eye is drawn to the others still visible among the hundreds which are flying about. They dance and sparkle, hover and flit, appear and vanish, all on some insect business of their own, describing complex fractals in the afternoon air, unaware of how they dazzle and delight with their aerobatics.

If I listen very closely, I can imagine that I hear the collective beating of their tiny wings as the faintest of buzzing, there on the edge of perception. It is probably an illusion. Sooner am I likely to hear the rustle of the short green grass in the breeze, than the beating of wings so small, however many there might be. Perhaps the cats are able to hear them. I can merely watch, and wonder at the strangeness of their brief lives.