Tuesday, May 5, 2009


After yesterday's pouring rain, today dawned golden and bright, with the morning sun making crystals of the raindrops still held on the plants' leaves and petals. It was absolutely breathtaking.

And then I stepped outside.

And quickly discovered air so thick with moisture that I, in fact, might have had trouble breathing because (silly me) I'm not accustomed to breathing underwater.

When they reported the weather as "humid" this morning, I believe our Gulf Coast weathermen were either making the most outrageous understatement in meteorological history, or playing rather tasteless joke on all of us. Had they wanted to get out the true story and warn the public properly, they would have put up a little image of a steam room with skull and crossbones over it and the warning caption "Do not go outside if you've a) forgotten deodorant or b) bothered to put on makeup or c) mind sweating through every stitch of clothing you're wearing."

And all of this was plainly obvious from just my first breath.

My second inhalation told me that it wasn't just moisture in the air, but moisture carrying the heady scent of every blooming flower in a five mile radius. Most close to home, the jasmine in full bloom scented the air with the essence of the sultry South.

There was no doubt about it - refreshed by yesterday's long, cool shower, nature had put on her perfume, unfurled her petals, and declared herself ready to mingle.

No less obvious than the haughty humans in a nightclub, all of the local wildlife is strutting its stuff and on the prowl for possible procreation opportunities.

How apropos, then, that today the local procreation poster children arrived: the "lovebugs".

Lovebugs (Plecia nearctica) are also called honeymoon flies or kissy bugs. They fly around attached to one another but, unlike that last nickname might suggest, they are not attached at the mouth.

For the next four weeks, the air will be full of paired lovebugs finding satisfaction in flight. Love on the fly. Or, rather, love on the wing of the fly.

And those of us that live here will heartlessly crush unknown millions of these diminutive duos as we zip from here to there in our cars (and sometimes on our bicycles - a lovebug couple in the face will pretty much ruin a ride, in case you were wondering).

Caught up in the heady perfume of the season, the copulating couples will meet life's windshield together. Sad, it's true, but not a bad way to go out.

At least they get to escape the humidity.


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