Friday, August 08, 2008


We had a rare opportunity yesterday to witness such a strange and amazing occurrence.

Darren had told us the night before about the unbelievable number of sphinx moth caterpillars he had seen swarming the highway between work and home, moving in quantities so large that it seemed, in some places, that the ground itself was actually alive! Curiosities piqued (to say the least!), we were intrigued to see further reports of this infrequent invasion on both the evening news and in the morning newspaper. And having already arranged to take the day off to attend appointments with both Kristen and Meghan, Darren gamely decided that it would be so fun to take the children with us out into the desert to see for ourselves this fascinating phenomenon.

Wow. Really, what else can I say? I have never seen anything like it. (Wait, no, there was the tarantula migration in, like, 1991? 1992? I'll never forget that, either.) But from the moment we disembarked from the van, each and every footfall was a carefully selected placement of steps, a delicate choreography necessary to prevent the untimely demise of any of those fat, beautiful creatures.

Beautiful? Yes, I do suppose that is a word a would use to describe them. Quite striking, aren't they?

The children, with their Daddy's help, collected a bucketful of caterpillars to release in our garden. And, you know, I didn't really recognize it at the time, but looking at these pictures as I transferred them to the computer last night...Caitlyn reminds me an awful lot of myself at her age. My best friend and I still laugh now and then about how it always took us twice as long to walk to school because I was forever stopping along the way, hunkering down to investigate any interesting objects in our path, hair held back with one free hand while she tried to hurry me along. Once, after a night of particularly heavy rain, we attempted to count every single snail that we saw, and when her Daddy passed us in his car on his way to work, he admonished us that we had better get moving if we wanted to make it to school on time! I see my daughter now, so much like me, and my heart can't help but smile to see myself in her.

Of course, I couldn't resist taking an additional few dozen photos of the landscape while we were out. It was just such a beautiful day; in fact, as soon as we finally got back into the van, the gorgeous clouds that I had been admiring just moments before finally unleashed the torrent of rain (and hail!) they had been politely withholding while we explored.

I just love our skies. I love our desert. I love our mountains. I love my dear, sweet, naturalist husband, and our darling children, with whom he desires to share the beauty and wonder of our environment. We are blessed.


Celeste said...

Yes, you are blessed - absolutely blessed!

Martha said...

Beautiful pictures, beautiful children! What an interesting nature trip for the kids!

Michelle said...

I love that picture of Caitlyn with the wind blowing her hair. So pretty!
And yes, your little baby looks quite edible.

Andrea said...

You take the most beauitful photo's. Your family is so cute. Wow.. those caterpillars.

Charlotte (Matilda) said...

Every time I visit and look at your pictures I am reminded of something silly which I just have to share with you now. I remember a show my husband and I used to watch called "Sports Night"; a sitcom about a TV sports show like on ESPN. During one of the broadcasts, the anchors were welcoming the viewers from a new cable network in New Mexico. On of them says, "Any of you out there in Penablanca, New Mexico who are watching us right now, turn off your television sets and go outside, you live in New Mexico for cryin' out loud."

I guess nobody has to tell you guys to do that! Thanks for sharing New Mexico with us! And I was very honored to get a comment from Super Wilson himself yesterday! Hope he is doing well today!