Numbering Nature

Last night I held a firefly in my hands. I held it and marveled at how something so light could possibly shine so brightly, so fiercely, and for so short a time. Ever helpful, I scooped it off of the outside door and carried it to the side of the house within sight of the rest of his brethren. Fireflies, lighting up the yard under a canopy of stars. This is why I like living in the country.

Last week I caught frogs and crayfish with my nephews. This week, I caught fireflies and bottle flies and several mice of varying sizes. I’ll be honest. The bottle flies and mice did not survive the encounters.

I’ve seen deer illuminated by headlights and turkeys stirred into motion only by the honk of a horn. I almost stepped on a garter snake, have seen painted turtles on the side of the road. I said hello to the neighborhood fox on one of my runs, but I haven’t seen the lynx since November. When I sat with myself in the woods, I closed my eyes and wondered what I’d do if I found myself eye-to-nose with a black bear.

No moose or ticks yet, either, but plenty of spiders, crickets, and flies of various biting capabilities.

A luna moth with a bent wing. Chickadees and crows and small birds I don’t know the names for. Hawks with their heads turned regally away – I’m not worthy of their notice.

Minnows around my toes. Gypsy moth caterpillars. Ants. So many ants.

These are all of the reasons I live in the country.

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