There he was, staring right at me. Dark beady eyes and askew antennae pointed straight at me from atop the rough picnic table.
Not wanting to startle the katydid, I approached with caution though I needn't have bothered. The bright green bug was no longer among the living. It was dead, frozen in the last moment of its life. Did it know it was going to die? Had it chosen this spot, or was it just a landing point in its jumpy travels for which it no longer had the strength to continue?
I studied it closely, admiring the leaf-lkie wings that had served so well as camouflage when there were still green plants in the yard and garden. Now, amid the brown of late fall that same green would be an invitation to birds that here was a tasty morsel.
I set the katydid up on the porch banister. soon the coming winds would carry the bright body into the field where it would be eaten by ants, turned into dirt which will nurture future generations of life, plants, seeds, birds, people. Do I have somewhere in me a distant ancestor of this small life? Maybe some piece of carbon in my elbow? Will he be the one link in the chain of life that allows my descendants to carry on.
You're only one that I a-d-d-d-dore.
When the m-moon shines
over the mountain,
I'll be waiting at
the c-c-c-cabin door.
(Geoffrey O'Hara, 1917)