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Sunday, August 26, 2001

A little melodrama played out inside my house this morning. The gigantic moth was fluttering inside the mini-blinds, trying to find a way through the window glass. I didn't want to capture it, because I didn't want to do any damage.

When it found its way to the sliding glass door, I opened it and tried to shoo the creature out, but it didn't seem to understand the concept. For a while it was between the two glass panels, and I had to close the door to keep it from driving itself mad.

Imagine being able to see clearly in all directions but being able to move in only two dimensions. You have this tiny moth brain in the first place, and it holds very little information. The only thing such a brain knows for sure is that when you flap your wings you can move in any direction you can see.

Now your entire belief system, everything you hold dear, all the knowledge in every moth encyclopedia from volume A to volume XYZ, is shown to be wrong. I had to let the little creature out of that trap. I'm no moth abuser.

Next thing I knew, the moth was trying to get through another window, the one on the far wall near the ceiling. As I was impatiently explaining to it that I'd been trying to give it its freedom, a bird came flying toward the window from the outside. It hovered there, the tantalizing mothy meal just out of reach beyond the barricade. Unlike the moth, the bird realized quickly what it was up against and moved on to find a meal it didn't have to work so hard for.

The last I saw of the moth, it had managed to fly into one of the spider webs that are just out of my reach above the high beams in the big room. It was a huge moth, so it might have escaped the web. I haven't seen it again, but I haven't found the body, either, so I'd like to think it found a way out somehow.


Hummer at the feeder.

If like me you lived your whole life in the city (until a year ago), you might not know that hawks scream. Kree-eee-eee-eerk! I heard that from overhead while I was sitting on the porch this afternoon reading The Blue Nowhere, and I looked up in time to see three of these majestic birds soaring homeward, toward the eucalyptus at the end of my drive. I always get a thrill when I see the hawks in flight.

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