This tabachine bush was covered with butterflies, but they are almost impossible to photograph. They are constantly lighting for a few seconds and then flying off, circling, lighting––but never long enough to get much more than a blue. I felt fortunate to get one good shot.
As I was taking the picture of the sconces outside, in the dark, I was breaking off the bougainvillea vines that grew in front of them, sticking myself on the thorns, as usual. Then I felt a sharp sting on my forearm and called out to Judy (a visiting writer who is doing a retablo workshop with me at my house) that I was stung by something. Then I felt a very sharp sting on my leg, under my Levis. I grabbed the place and squeezed the material of my Levis, running into the house, trying to get my shoes off and my jeans pulled down. “It’s stinging me, it’s stinging me!” I said.
“What do I do?” Judy shouted.
“Pull my pants down!” I ordered. She did and I held on to the bundle I imagined inside the jeans–hoping it wasn’t the notorious and very poisonous Donald Trump caterpillar that has been discovered locally. When I opened my fingers, there was instead a black wasp inside. How he got inside my jeans I’ll never know. Perhaps he fell off my arm when I received the first sting, fell to the ground and flew up my Levis in an attempt to get away. At any rate, the stings hurt like Hell. I ran to the bathroom, wet my wounds and sprinkled on meat tenderizer which helped to counteract the worst stinging, although my arm and leg are still swollen and tender to the touch. How I suffer for my blog!!!
I’ve been trying to locate these fellows in my Virginia Creeper vine that hangs over my terrace table for weeks. They are huge, but also hard to find in the foliage and they do make a tremendous mess, pooping on my glass table. So, our achievement was actually finding two of them in one day. I never have been able to figure out what kind of caterpillar they are, but we’ve had some great adventures over the past 13 years. One day I’ll publish pics I took of the year I established a caterpillar triage unit. Does anyone know what those “crystals” growing out of its head are? The above guy looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland!
The Prompt: Sounds Right—This is clearly subjective, but some words really sound like the thing they describe (personal favorites: puffin; bulbous; fidgeting). Do you have an example of such a word (or, alternatively, of a word that sounds like the exact opposite of what it refers to)? What do you think creates this effect?
I’ve always loved the word “’Flutter” as it applies to a butterfly or moth. What better word could be used to describe the motion of their wings? The moth described in my poem, however, was noticeable because of its lack of flutter. It landed upon my computer screen like a magnetized object to metal and remained there for over two hours. The moth pictured in the poem is the actual moth. Tiny and green, it became part of my writing experience. Since it had chosen to remain in one position, directly on my screen, I was forced (by choice) to write around it, which could not help but influence the poem that resulted.