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Entries in insects (7)



An incomplete list, in no particular order, of some things that happened (so far):

A love affair with the camera.  A bout of culture shock at college in upstate New York.  Writing.  A trip to India.  A mercifully short-lived stint as a weather girl in a small town.  Boyfriends.  A mercifully longer career in television production.  Writing.  A rural childhood.  Some other trips to anywhere that would have me.  Girl friends.  Some skis.    A boy-child.  Some backpacks.  A husband.   Writing.

To be clear, I am so grateful for this life of mine, remarkable perhaps mostly for its arc of good fortune.  I know I am a Lucky One.  But I have looked back on that list and the other pieces that fill in my history and wondered if they could possibly have anything to do with one another.  They don't feel like points on a line.  I guess it's a trick of the memory, but they feel like fragments housed in this Corinna-vessel:  I know they all fit together somehow, but I have not been totally sure if they have any relationship to my future. 

Perhaps it's a function of becoming a parent, that all-consuming endeavor which makes our previous lives seem hazy and dreamlike.  Ezra is three now, and I feel like I can breathe again.  Or maybe this past year of shooting and writing has just made me hungry to integrate.  But suddenly I see clearly that my wish is to take all these strands of me, the fits and starts of learning and knowing, the luck and grace and love, and weave them together into something whole and vital and greater than its parts.  Today it feels like that could happen.


Faith is the bird that feels the light, and sings when the dawn is still dark.

- Rabindranath Tagore



237.365 50mm f2/5 1/320 ISO 200I am sure this falls into the category of TMI, or at least Too Much Information about things no one cares about besides Will and me.  Never mind.  You may recall that I expressed some skepticism about Will's approach to the Evil Weevils in our backyard.  Well.  Will spent the majority of the weekend perched in the tree, just as you see here, cutting unripe cherries out.  All of them.  I shit you not.

(If I ever, in this space, wonder where my child gets his incredible propensity for perseveration, you can link me back to this post.)

Every weevil that came off that tree got a bath in denatured alcohol.  If I am wrong and these creatures aren't actually a mistake of nature or god (take your pick), we have a serious karmic debt to our names after this weekend.  And you know what?  I don't feel bad about it for a moment.


You May Call Him Don Quixote

235.365 50mm (+35mm mac tube) 50mm f2.5 1/250 ISO 400Meet our newest nemesis, the cherry curculio.  Or, as I like to call him, the Evil Weevil.  With that scary looking proboscis he destroys each and every cherry on the tree we planted when we moved in to this house six years ago. 

According to the CSU extension, the Evil Weevils "chew small holes in the base of flowers and cause abortion of developing fruit.  Larger fruit are pitted by this injury.  Eggs are inserted into fruit and larvae tunnel the fruit, ultimately feeding on the pit."  This, in my mind, puts him in the same small category as the mosquito: Creatures I Can Not Think of Any Possible Excuse For.  Also known as, Proof That God Is Fallible.

Anyway, the point is that we don't have a good way to get rid of these nasty little buggers.  For a brief moment we even considered spraying some nasty pesticide on the tree, until Will reminded me that we are opposed to doing that on philosophical grounds.  Damn values.

So Will's solution (?) is to cut each and every unripe cherry off the tree, thereby removing the evildoers.  It is exactly the kind of painstaking approach that someone with deep convictions would take.  I do love that man and his windmills.


Losing My Tolerance

225.365 200mm (+12mm mac tube) f5.6 1/250 ISO 800It is HOT in North Carolina.  Yes, I have lost all tolerance for sticky, muggy, heat in the years since I transplanted myself out West.  Also, as it turns out my kid is allergic to mosquito bites.  Not that I would let the keep him inside too much, but he is getting a little swollen.

So we headed for the Museum of Life and Science and after a walk down the dinosaur trail (hugely upgraded since my childhood) we headed for the relative cool of the butterfly house.  Yes, the tropical butterfly house was more comfortable than the actual weather of central NC yesterday.

I am such a wuss.


Welcome Home

223.365 50mm (+ 12mm mac tube. Yes, I was that close.) f4.5 1/80 ISO 200I don't know why coming home always feels like some kind of Faulknerian adventure, but being in North Carolina summons a strange mix of bone-deep familiarity and the wonder of a tourist.  At this time of year the place is so alive, full of flowers and fragrances and green leaves of myriad textures and glosses and winged creatures hovering in the muggy air.  It makes Denver seem so tame.

This year "the Great Southern Brood" of red-eyed cicadas have emerged from their 13-year underground sleep.  The deafening whir of their mating call out here in the woods drowns out nearly every other sound.  They're harmless but it still seems like a swarm of Old Testament proportions.  I knew I wanted a picture of one of these things, though I assumed I'd have to settle for one of their discarded exoskeletons.  Then this one flew right into the frame and waited patiently for me to focus.

Five years ago this week, Will and I and all our friends and family turned up here like a swarm of our own.  We got married in my mom's front yard and moved to the backyard for the reception.  It was a beautiful day, full of life.  But being here now makes me happy the cicadas were dormant that week.  You wouldn't have been able to hear the bluegrass band.


P.S.  If you're dying to see more of the cicadas, check out this amazing time lapse of one discarding its shell.  Someone nearby composed this of 1500 stills taken over more than seven hours.  It's amazing:

Brood XIX Periodical Cicada 2011 from Mark Dolejs on Vimeo.