It’s early evening, and young tree trunks in our woods separate beams from the setting sun into bright slices. Next to me a gray squirrel sits straight up on its hind feet, holding slender front paws together against its stomach. It is a reverent posture; I wonder if the squirrel is pausing a moment to say its own little prayer of gratitude for another day. An insect with an abruptly bouncing flight pattern moves in front of my ankles. What is that? All I can see are spindly stick legs protruding at bent angles and a blur of long, skinny wings in constant motion. Land, I command. Land so I can see who you are. But no, it bounces around me, does not land. I see another one, and another, and as I look uphill into the sunbeams I see bouncing, flying insects in every slice of sunlight, dozens upon dozens, never venturing much more than a foot above the leaf litter. What are these multi-jointed, bouncing, winged creatures? Crane flies? I have no idea. ~K





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