Caloptilia triadicae and other small matters

For many years, I've relied on blacklighting to draw insects to my tiny backyard in a very residential part of the city of St. Louis, where I've hung out with them, admired them, photographed them, and been profoundly moved by them. This year seemed tinged with more desperation on my part, as I relied on them to help me through some very tough times - my husband's emergency surgeries, a loved one in hospice, a best friend in dire need and other challenging matters. I scoured the sheet at night more intently, searching for what I may not have noticed, for the new, for the new in the familiar, pushing myself to open my eyes wider and pay particular attention to the often overlooked tiny ones, the ones so difficult for me to photograph. Moved again and again by the beauty of what I was discovering, I felt revived, filled with enough of the elixir of life to keep going. After 15 years of blacklighting, I knew that the world of insects had the power to astonish and astound and surprise and keep me afloat - and this year, this most often hidden world did not fail. The exquisite colors and patterns and shapes and gazes of these small beings inspired me over and over again, ripping me out of my distress and bringing me present like nothing else could. I was filled with gratitude as I documented them, attempting to take nothing for granted.

To my dismay, each night since the beginning of spring, the lights have drawn hundreds of caddisflies, making this newfound passion to be attentive to the smallest of insect beings ever more difficult, but I persisted, wearing a net around my head when needed. (This is the first year where caddisflies have been consistently present in such huge numbers, and I'm not sure what this change forebodes.) Leafhoppers that were only 2-4mm in length challenged my macro photography abilities, but even blurred images were rewarding in revealing patterns that only the kaleidoscope worked by the hands of the cosmos could imagine and create, like Tautoneura polymitusa. A beetle called Megacerus cubiculus, only 2.5mm, tickled my fancy something fierce with his moose-like antennae and rotund body and huge eyes.

And then, last night, a Chinese Tallow Leaf Miner, Caloptilia triadicae, about 4mm long, made an appearance for the first time at my blacklight sheet and for some inexplicable reason, moved me to finally to write a little about the overflowing gratefulness I owed these small delights. He was so bold, so generous, hopping onto the tip of my finger and staying there, dancing about in place, bobbing up and down. I fell in love, as I always do when I pay attention. So here I am, making a small effort to gush, as usual, about the wild world, in my journal - a long overdue gush. There are other things happening in the wild world to gush about - fall migration of birds is in full swing - but I needed to honor these lifesavers in my life, for sometimes, it is the teensiest of things that matter most. And lastly, thank you, Kathryn Zerbe, for encouraging me to keep journaling here. :-)

Publicado por wildreturn wildreturn, 14 de septiembre de 2022

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Gorgojo del Frijol (Megacerus cubiculus)

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wildreturn

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Agosto 2022

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wildreturn

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wildreturn

Comentarios

@zerbek Thank you so much for encouraging me to write.

Publicado por wildreturn hace 3 meses (Marca)

Your pleasure is my pleasure. I’m so grateful to know that you are out there, equally delighted and blessed by so many tiny wonders. They likewise serve my soul as levelers in life’s travail. Write on ;)

Publicado por zerbek hace 3 meses (Marca)

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