Tag Archives: insects

Cabbage white in autumn

Today we induct into the Hall of Heroes a cabbage white, its wingspan little wider than a half-dollar, an artifact you may or may not remember:  cool in the palm, serrated edges, the sharply embossed portrait of a young president whose life would likewise be truncated by the weather of the world. (On the coin, he still […]

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Somewhere, swallowtails

A half-second, maybe. No more. You hang in the air, a question too pretty to diminish with answers, wings opening and closing on the hinge of your thorax, bright lemon and black; cyan patches, splashes of orange. Black, too, those perfect points, limned in light. A half-second to see you; a half-second — no more […]


I was mortified to learn recently from an online calculator that my life expectancy is 94.64 years. That’s just, well …  piggish. This is mostly not my fault.  I have good genes and socioeconomic privilege. I don’t understand how to smoke, so I never acquired that vice. I am hard-wired for exercise. Also, I have done what I can to […]


  I saw you there the night before, a leggy black pearl against the glossy white tub, and made a note: Spider. Remove before showering. And the next morning remembered too late, and bore your sodden body to the sunny deck rail where I had meant to leave you, alive. And lay you there gently, […]

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Happy ending

This story begins as too many do these days, another reminder of the human spirit in fundamental darkness: ignorance, meanness, alienation. But unlike those big stories — driven by bellicose world leaders with little intelligence and less heart — this tiny tale is redeemed by finer aspects of the human spirit: understanding, compassion, inclusion. Its […]


August commences a subtle transition.  We harvest the bounty of summer gardens — the flavorful vegetables, the succulent fruit  —  and yet at the same time, sense a certain weariness.  So much energy spent,  all the plants and wild animals having bloomed or birthed and grown and yielded. Even the bees and the butterflies — fewer […]

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Gnat, or Everything is Illuminated

A gnat flew into my mouth while I was running this morning, and despite the customary courtesies — the coughing and hacking to set it free — it lingered at the back of my throat, then slipped inexorably into my gullet. I was sad for a moment, but then not, because how likely is it, […]