Yesterday evening I spotted yet another preying mantis on yet another Liatris ligulistylis. It had a silver-spotted skipper in its clutches, and two feet beneath it torn yellow sulphur wings, and these:
I scanned these in, inspired by bloom day scans of Craig at Ellis Hollow. If you click on and enlarge them they seem even more beautiful in their seeming grotesqueness, the details of hair and scales. This is the second monarch to succumb to a mantis in a week, both males, luckily. But it got me thinking, wouldn't this make a great book cover? Something with a seemingly unrelated title?
Yesterday we released 12 monarchs, today 15 are due to emerge. I've gathered the last of the caterpillars from the garden and peak migration here in Nebraska is in three weeks. At about that time I should be near the end of gathering my own pieces--100s of resources, books, websites, interviews, and images to put into a book. Not the above book, but something whose wings are bright and permanent, forever, but whose body is long gone. I think that's how memory is, how story is--the leftover wings, the aura, the devices but not the mechanism or the instigator. That's maybe what words are, too, an echo of some intense origin, an afterimage, a supernova light years away whose light may never reach us.