cranefly

A warm morning, and all I hear are the birds of winter: chickadee, nuthatch, pileated woodpecker. A dead cranefly dangles from a spiderweb.

A pale cranefly illuminated by the early-morning sun looks almost angelic, until it lands and begins groping its way with its antennae.

A rose-breasted grosbeak flutters up from the creek singing clear, cool notes. A cranefly drifts through a sunbeam, carrying its legs.

Another cloudless, cool morning. Two large craneflies joined back-to-back like Dr. Doolittle’s pushmi-pullyu float sedately past.

Strong sun, and the air so clear, I can see the tiniest floating krill. A cranefly seems enormous—until a pileated woodpecker flops in.

Hazy but cool. A cranefly bumbles over the cherry tree on its too-long legs, its too-small wings, like a marionette with invisible strings.