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Windy [Feb. 9th, 2004|08:43 pm]
It has been windy most of the day, and the chilly gusts are continuing, filling the night with whispers and moans, odd rustlings and thumps. When I was a kid, I'd have had a kite out on a day such as this was -- clear and bright, when I could watch the fragile construction of sticks and paper rise higher and higher, diminishing to a speck in the blue vastness, and feel it tug against the string as it breasted the wind, companion to birds and kin to sailing ships. There are few childhood joys as liberating as that derived from being the captain of a soaring kite.

One of the oaks up the block still has a few pale brown and desiccated leaves clinging to its twigs, and this afternoon I listened to their dry rattling, and marveled at their tenacity. I saw only two of them surrender to the hastening air, and those fairly took flight, spending their last moments above ground to spin and whirl a hundred feet or more of slow decline, landing at last with a skitter along the pavement. While yet airborne, they reminded me a bit of butterflies -- and in fact I mistook the first I saw for a butterfly out of season, until it landed and became more like an oversized spider scampering to cover at the base of a fence. It reminded me that last spring I saw almost no lepidoptera other than the few nocturnal moths who fluttered about my porch light. I hope this year will be different, and there will be an abundance of butterflies.

But that will not be for a while, yet. Though the day was bright, the air remains brisk with February chill, and grows colder as night progresses. I feel it now, spilling from my open window, and smell the smoke of wood fires in it, reminding me that half the season lies ahead. I'm pleased enough by that.

[User Picture]From: myasma
2004-02-09 08:53 pm (UTC)
There was an intersting guest on NPR's Fresh Air today that talked about using a high resolution scanner to look at moths. Some apparently look quite stunning in extreme close-up.
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