1. Summer came suddenly yesterday (ya know, on the summer solstice), with temps going from 60s during the day and 40s (brrr) at night to the 90s with Iowa-like humidity and hazy ozoney air. Hello summer!
2. E found this moth on the sunroom door this a.m.:
I believe it's a rosy maple moth (Dryocampa rubicunda) of the Saturnidae family. At first I thought it was the primrose moth, which I often find (aptly enough) hiding inside the closed blossoms of the evening primrose. But I that has a different pattern of coloration, and a different body shape, and it's in the Noctuidae family. The sherbet pink and yellow are the same, though. Interesting example of convergent evolution, doncha think? And just plain pretty (we moved it to a less sun-baked location after its photo shoot).
3. I finally finished reading Harry Potter #7 to E and Z last week. We started the series back in September (with a few side forays into the Wind in the Willows and the Magic Treehouse, among others)!! So what did they want to do immediately? Start Harry Potter #1 all over again!!!!! It has provided an interesting opportunity to discuss foreshadowing with M. Like when Hagrid says you'd have to be mad to rob Gringott's. M claims that JK Rowling didn't know what was going to happen at the end when she started (though I heard that she'd had it planned out from the beginning). Regardless of what she knew and when she knew it, it begs the question: is foreshadowing only foreshadowing if the author plans it that way? Or is there serendipitous foreshadowing (or more likely, unconscious foreshadowing)? I only write short stories, which don't provide a lot of room for foreshadowing, which is a good thing, because that would only provide one more opportunity to do something badly.
4. Baseball is finally over!! I would be hooting and hollering, but M's team lost the second playoff game last night and my normally stoic boy spent the rest of the night sobbing. I did my best to hold his sadness and disappointment for him, even though he just wanted me to go away. I think he was probably mostly upset about striking out three times and being tagged out on first the one time he hit. Maybe also about being sidelined from pitching for the most of the season. Maybe that's just me projecting. Anyway, I tried to remind him that "It doesn't matter whether you win or lose, as long as you tried your hardest and had a good time," which has been my mantra since Farm League. Of course, I could point the finger of his misery (or his desire to wallow in it) directly back at myself, because just hours earlier I received an email from a former professor who is at Rio+20, where he ran into an old friend of mine, whom I have lost touch with, mainly because hearing from her was terrible for my self-esteem: she was always doing something amazing with her life, and it always reminded me that I was not quite measuring up to my expectations for where and who I wanted to be (this is totally my issue, not hers, and it's not that I cut off contact her because of this, but I've never gone to great lengths to maintain contact because of this). Anyway, hearing that she's in the midst of the climate talks (even if everyone thinks they'll go nowhere), while I'm at the lowest ebb of my not particularly illustrious career turned my mood very sour for the rest of the evening. So perhaps I should remind myself that it doesn't matter whether you are successful, as long as you try your hardest and have a good time (hmm...cold comfort).
5. After I finished/gave up on comforting M and crawled into bed, I heard a noise outside that sounded like someone (thing) moving rocks. Then I heard peeping/cheeping like chickens. At 9:30 p.m., I had the crazy thought that the two or three chickens whose carcasses did not seem to be among the fallen had somehow hidden out in the woods for a whole week and now were home looking for dinner. I went out on the deck and some large animal (dark, but short. A fisher perhaps?) slunk away and the peeping became louder and more insistent. I called C (who was at his radio show--don't ask) to see if he bought more chickens (even though we had agreed to wait until we had a safer coop) and he said his mother had dropped them by earlier. I looked into the mobile coop and saw chicks running around on the bare ground cheeping loudly. Even though it was a hot night, they were probably cold with no bedding and no light. Not to mention scared sh*tless by the big hairy thing trying to eat them. I spent the next hour outside in the dark with mosquitoes dive-bombing me, trying to coax seven chicks (apparently there had been ten originally) out from under the extremely heavy chicken ark through a gap in the wire fencing. I was not worried about the predator--I was cursing loudly enough to scare away a pride of lions. Sticking my head and arms into this coop--that was still splattered with blood and strewn with feathers (and probably chicken bits that I missed when burying the corpses) by the very dim wind-up flashlight was the last thing I wanted to be doing at 10 p.m. C arranged for his mother to come and get the chicks today, so that we can replenish our flock at the right time, on our own terms--when we have a proper coop that will not serve as a buffet table to hungry predators, and after we've taken the time to mourn our first beloved flock. I don't really think the best response to loss is to get a replacement, and I don't want my kids to grow up seeing animals as disposable, even if they are just chickens.