The downtown air felt so thick with heat and humidity that mist gathered onto the young man’s eyeglasses. His bandana drooped with moisture wiped from his face. The young man slowed his pace to keep from generating ever more heat.  The young man fantasized about a hurricane that might blow away his discomfort. Even a mild breeze would be welcome tonight.

The young man halted to wipe the moisture from his glasses.  There was only one small, dry place remaining on the shirt tail to use. He muttered in frustration that he was cursed with such severe near-sightedness that he had to wear the “Coke Bottle” thick lenses.moths-01

His thoughts were interrupted by clicking sounds echoing off the buildings. That’s when he noticed several bats swooping through clouds of moths in orbit around each street light. How many thousands or maybe how many millions of the insects were downtown?  The bats would certainly have their fill of prey that night.

A tiny moth took refuge on his eyeglasses. The young man slowly removed them again, in order to examine the creature. It’s wings were not the expected delta shape of spring millers. The grey was tinged with pinks and gold. The wing span was slightly larger than a thumbnail. moths-02

The curved wings had markings that resembled golden eyes. The little insect looked like a smaller version of a moth he had once seen on an insect identifier chart. Before the young man could inspect the insect more closely, the moth flew away to join its comrads.

How many of the tiny moths were in the clouds of insects downtown that night?  By far, the largest share were the pesky, drab millers. He cheered on the bats and hoped they would eat to their hearts’ delight. The young man resumed his walk and observed the greedy bats as they clicked and flew through the swarms of moths.

After several minutes, the downtown district was behind the young man. The street light poles were spaced further apart.  Each light looked like a globular cluster galaxy.

The young man wondered what happened during olden times when streets were lit by gaslight.  The Victorian moths were certainly drawn to the many street lights. Were great numbers of old timey moths engulfed in accidental holocausts? Their individual guidance systems being deceived by the light of the fire, great numbers must have spiralled into death.

The young man observed that moths must be tough little creatures. They somehow survive hundreds of collisions with others of their kind and with solid glass light bulbs. Do moths get headaches from all of that bumping around?  Have they discovered a natural analgesic? Do some moths hang out around feverfew herbs?

At first glance, it would seem that street lights would make great lonely hearts clubs for wistful moths.  What perfect places to meet the moths of their dreams.  (Do moths dream?) Scientists say moths don’t hook up at street lamps because most moths are like most humans, they prefer to mate in the dark.

The young man continued walking homeward. Every 50-yards or so, was another street light, each with its own galaxy of hundreds and hundreds of miller moths. Were there perhaps one or two of the tiny pinkish grey creatures in each flying cluster?

The young man was tired of seeing miller moths.  He longed to see, just once that moths-03night, a beautiful luna moth, but they were not to be found in the young man’s part of the Midwest.

The young man once read that luna moths do not have mouths.  They never get the munchies. Instead of searching for food, lunas only cruise for sex.

At last, the young man reaches his home. He opens the storm door then sweeps his right hand across the top of the door. He shoos three wayward miller moths that had chosen the space between the door and the frame to hide away. Those three would not sneak in to flap around the house.

Unfortunately the young man’s precautions were in vain. When he flipped the kitchen wall switch, three millers began to orbit the light.

mini-moiThe Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Christopher Fry. “Between our birth and death, we may touch understanding. As a moth brushes a window with its wing.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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