May 3rd, 2005


Adventures With Fauna

A crane fly treads my bathroom wall, its improbably long legs lifting the stick body that looks much to heavy for them, and the glossy, transparent wings lie still. I have no idea why the bug doesn't fly. Surely there could be nothing of interest to it on that wall. Most crane flies that get trapped in the house make for a window and then flutter back and forth against the screen until I have discovered their situation and opened it for them. This one seems content to explore the vacant surface. Perhaps it is insane. Perhaps it has the crane fly equivalent of OCD. I try shooing it toward the nearby window so I can let it escape into the wide world, but it returns to the wall each time. I give up. Returning to the room an hour or so later, the crane fly has vanished. It has either died, or has found some other spot in which to lurk.

Later, sitting at the computer, I see movement from the corner of my eye. At first I think it is the crane fly, but I discover that a spider is building a web between the angled arms of my desk lamp. I lean forward to get a better look, and the spider drops. I pull back and the spider rises. I brush my hand between my shoulder and the lamp, and the spider jerks. It has attached one end of its web to my shirt sleeve. I know that I tend to dope off now and then, but when spiders begin mistaking me for an inanimate object, I think perhaps my springtime tendency toward woolgathering has gone too far. Woolgathering is one thing, but spider-silk gathering quite another.

The nights are too short now. It seems barely to have turned dark before the early birds begin their all too cheerful cacophony. The noisy robins have even wakened the acorn woodpeckers, who normally don't rise until the light is much brighter. The woodpeckers sound cranky, too. I don't think the like being roused this early. I don't blame them. I'm not much of a morning person, myself, especially when I've been up all night. Chill, you over-eager avians! What's the rush?
caillebotte_the orangerie

Tasks Accomplished and Rewarded

I've dealt with the bank for the month, gotten my ears lowered, acquired a supply of cat food, and discovered and purchased (for a mere $9.98) a triple CD of delightfully cheesy instrumental music from the 1940s-1950s. It includes Ethel Smith's improbably ornate organ arrangement of Tico Tico, along with 71 other masterpieces of the age of Muzak. Now I can have it playing in the background and be transported in imagination to the primitive supermarkets and drug stores of the era when such sounds issued interminably from the small, tinny speakers that occupied the ceilings of every such establishment. Ah, Eisenhower music! Everybody duck and cover!

I am also delighted to announce that someone has found, photographed, and posted at found_objects proof that I was not merely engaged in a homo-erotically pornographic hallucination when I saw, several years ago, a fungus shaped like a human penis. The one that I found growing in my front yard was gray, smooth-skinned and about eight inches long, so it was a bit different from the one flutttergirl discovered, but this photograph is nevertheless solid (or turgid, if you will) evidence that penis-shaped fungi do exist. Because I did not have a functioning camera at the time, I was unable to provide the proof that I had seen this example of nature's playful manifestation of healthy ribaldry. Those who doubted me can now... sit on it!

A hint of mugginess entered the air today, and the gray clouds which crowded the evening sky are expected to bring thunderstorms, perhaps for the next two days. I anticipate them with relish.