Saving Polyphemus

The rain poured all day long – not the devastating effects of hurricane Harvey still hovering over Texas – but a small tropical rain storm along the east coast. I headed out for the errands of the day, a stop to visit my mother, a car inspection, a haircut.

Just out the front door, the fluttering wings of the moth on the sidewalk caught my attention. Weighed down with water on its wings, the moth struggled to take flight with no success. I watched and waited to see if the moth might crawl to shelter, but it seemed hopelessly trapped by the deluge of rain. I don’t know if insects suffer, but it appeared so.

Trying to think what to do, I picked up the moth with our pancake spatula and carried it to a dry spot under the awning of our front porch. Wings flapping, up and down, back and forth, slowly at first . . . and as it dried out, faster and faster. My husband kept an eye on the moth until late afternoon, when finally it made its way to a nearby Hosta plant and hunkered down beneath the leaves to wait out the storm.

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When I wonder if my photographs connect with anyone, I go back to the heart of the matter.

What one thing is the photograph about? Sometimes the one thing is a small thing, the moments of a day like this one – the rescue of the moth, the treat of apple pies to an elderly couple in McDonalds, or scrambled eggs for dinner.