It's early evening, and young tree trunks in our woods separate beams from


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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We depart from the main boat dock at Devils Fork State Park, Salem SC, 28676