Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Amazing Feat and Feet

I was shocked to read that James Audubon killed as many as 100 birds per day until he found the perfect specimen for his scientific drawing. He drew from freshly killed models into which he threaded wires to hold them erect for the drawings. This I do not understand, for my recent practice of close observation of woodland creatures has given me enough respect for each that the act of willfully killing a single one becomes unimaginable.

Case in point, the lime green lizard I watched on the porch nearly all day today. Before keeping this journal I would have swept him away with a broom. But I would have missed his yoga-like cobra stretch and nod that came before every throat puff, which was a bright orange vertical disk about the size and shape of a penny that protruded from his neck whenever he came to a patch of sun. I would have missed his spectacular five toed feet on the screen, his blinking eyes, his pumping belly, his twisting neck, his laying low, his peeking from behind a board, his agility on every surface.

Two notable exceptions to my elevated mode of respect---mosquitos and cockroaches. I can kill either with pleasure. dkm

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