I’ve thought a lot about bugs lately — mostly about the pesky mosquitoes who leave big itchy bumps all over my legs if I dare to try picking figs while wearing shorts. I’d post a picture, but if I could get one of those blood-suckers to hold still that long, I’d pulverize it first.
A much happier encounter came during a recent afternoon canoeing on the Cape Fear, when Susan and I enjoyed being surrounded by bright dragonflies zooming by (sometimes while mating) or clustering in metallic pink and purple mobs on floating debris to lay their eggs.
Photographing small flyers from a canoe is not an easy task, but one I found suspended in a trash can on shore had no problem being still. The poor husk of a dragonfly had fallen prey to a spider, who happily posed on the colorless husk of his victim.
Back at home, some sweaty yard work took a devotional turn when a praying mantis bravely confronted Susan’s hedge clippers, making himself look big and then adopting a threatening posture — or maybe he was just trying to distract us by pretending to lead in a prayerful benediction.
You never really know what bugs are thinking, or even to what extent they think at all, but it’s fun to imagine — especially when I picture a mosquito who has just injected his joy juice into my skin when he sees a flying hand and realizes for just an instant that his blood-sucking days are … “Eeee!”