In the subtropical climate in which I live, co-existence with insects and bugs is possible year around. There are seasonal changes, sometimes marked by a winter’s bloom and other times, yet another change in foliage color.
Through it all, insects and bugs make their way on either side of window panes. The world of bugs and insects is fragile in its beauty and terrifyingly transient. There, living life to its fullest, even for a nanosecond, is never questioned, and death is just as imminent. The more I watch this world, the larger my own life becomes.
Insect and bug death is more common outside my windowpane than on the inside. Feline EmmaRose and I are content to observe all the life around us, although there are times I escort bugs and insects to the world on the other side of the pane. Relationship requires decisions.
Our windows look onto a carpet of grass that slopes to live oaks, pines and vines of woodland too thick for human occupation. Gray squirrels flick their feather-plumed tails, scurrying in and out of the woods in constant search of nuts not yet sprouted. Rarely, do they look to insects and bugs as food but they are never off the menu. This spring, EmmaRose and I have watched a pair of cardinals pecking seeds at woods’ edge as well as enjoying bug protein. The silken-red male most often appears in mornings, taking breakfast from what seems to be a favorite series of spots.
It is early evening when we see an earthen-brown female with a tufted, red crest and subtle red highlights. She stays closer to the woods, most often preferring low branches to the ground.
The brown thrasher is quite common of late. It seems a good year for insects and bug protein. To me, the reddish-brown streaks of the thrasher splashed through its mostly white chest seem velvet in texture. Thrashers, cardinals, and squirrels can be territorial but EmmaRose and I have yet to see a squabble.
This week, there is a new crop of clover, always a favorite for the eastern cottontail rabbits that enjoy the cover of the woodlands as well as the grassy area borders. We watch kits and adults alike.
EmmaRose seems most attuned to rabbit watching. Often, she puts her paw on my arm and meows; it is my cue to look to the world outside the windowpane. More often than not, a rabbit munches the green slope at the edge of the woods.
Relationships are a collage of images collected over a lifetime, snapshots of the world on either side of the windowpane.