Sunday, September 26, 2021
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Dark and dank
With a heavy load
Of clouds overhead
Swollen with rain,
Ready to burst forth
When that first roaring rumble
Gives its signal.
The squeaky swinging bench
A respite in this summer heat,
As late afternoon settles over a garden
No worse for wear
Than this old worn out human.
Birds call in short crisp notes,
Then a silence settles in
As if doom itself has entered the fold.
Tree crickets begin their high pitched chant,
As a group of house finch silently appear,
One by one, to fill the feeder edge
With beaks ready for seed
Then that rusty red Toyota Solara
Drives in to stay the night
As husband exits and harnesses the dog
To walk, out racing the sunset.
I walked my garden today.
No different than any other day
Meandering muddy pathways
Tilted plants rough with old age
Clumps of flowers half spent
A few falling leaves in rustic colors
But the heavens are silent as the rains burst forth
Over a garden already soaked from the day before.
The summer lapsed away--
Too imperceptible at last
To seem like perfidy--
A quietness distilled
As twilight long begun,
Or nature spending with herself
The dusk drew earlier in--
The morning foreign shone--
A courteous, yet harrowing grace,
As guest, that would be gone--
And thus, without a wing
Or service of a keel
Our summer made her light escape
Into the beautiful.
Killer insect profile: The "assassin fly" or "robber fly"
If you are squeamish, forget about reading this.
According to Torsten Dikow, curator in the entomology department at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, assassin flies are “aggressive, visual predators that perch on vegetation and rocks to look for insects flying by. Once an assassin fly spots its prey, it follows and attacks it in flight by grabbing the insect with its legs, biting it on its back or side, and injecting it with venomous saliva that kills the insect almost instantly. The assassin fly is able to hold on with strong, bristly legs that form a basket to carry its prey to a perching site where the fly can eat at its leisure.”
“The saliva not only kills the insect, it liquefies its insides too, which the fly sucks up through its mouthparts,” Dikow explains. “Once it’s done eating, the fly leaves the empty carcass behind and starts looking again for more prey.”