Maybe it’s the country life, but I feel I have come a long way in terms of my personal phobias of some of nature’s creatures that I have encountered this summer.
I’m proud of myself. I’m way braver than I used to be.
You’re doubting me. I can feel it. Well, let me tell you, I have stopped to commune with a garter snake on my morning walk. He didn’t have much to say. Bit of a snob, really. Whatever. We parted ways politely. He slithered away like one does in the grocery store aisle when you see that person you know that you’ll never get away from if they start talking to you, and you don’t have an ounce of energy or patience to spare.
It’s been a slow build, this new critter confidence. After you’ve walked through a zillion spider webs while walking through the forest, you stop imagining where the spider went after you busted up his house. Instead of flailing your arms about like you’re swimming for the Olympic medal in a pool made of air (old me), you do one good swoop of your arms and let the sticky web land where it lands (new confident me).
You stop obsessing about whether or not that spider is nesting in your hair or if he is crawling up your leg. Chances are that spider is crawling frantically to get away from you because now that you’ve shown your confidence, it’s surely thinking, “Whoa, this country girl isn’t taking any prisoners.” Yep, that’s what they’re thinking as they leap to another tree and start building again. Until tomorrow, I say.
The “daddy long-legs” are prevalent around here. These fellas are marvellous. I just imagine them wearing Derby wing-tip tap shoes as they scatter along to avoid an awkward conversation with me. It replaces fear with amusement.
But one insect that never bothered me much is the moth. Those things are everywhere in the countryside. Aside from the destructive behaviours of some of these flying insects, I think the majority of moths get a bad rep. I blame the film The Silence of the Lambs. I blame a lot of things on that movie, like ruining a classic Tom Petty song for me, also Chianti and fava beans, and maybe Anthony Hopkins.
I’ve learned people are freaked out by these unpredictable, flapping, flying creatures, particularly when it comes to sleeping in tents, or having them in their homes. I find this funny.
Moths, like butterflies, belong to the order of lepidoptera. Sure, the moth isn’t as colourful or light in flight as the butterfly, but I think moths are beautiful in their dark hues and mysterious shapes and patterns.
Butterflies are like the Christmas of insects, beautiful and cherished. Nobody shoos them away. But moths are more like Halloween: dark, mysterious and a little creepy. All the more reason to love them. Think Goth versus Disney. With freaky bodies, audible fluttering sounds and an aptitude to fly right at you when they are trying to escape your presence, moths are funky little critters.
Like a moth to a flame, I’m now drawn to these beauties. I’m so brave now, I even catch them with my bare hands to safely carry and relocate them, with a gentle release. Yep, you read that right.
This is progress, people.
Country girl mic drop.