A snippet of local birdlife: The young Mississippi Kites are on the wing now and starting to hunt for themselves over the neighborhood. The parents are provisioning some, also; so there is a lot of spectacular kite activity overhead!
Last night my twins and I witnessed a moment that would have made a great study for Carel…
A huge, near-black afternoon thunderhead loomed to our east, covering half the sky above a line of oaks behind our house. To the west, clear skies and a setting sun lit up the trees almost from beneath, making a wonderful contrast in color with bright greens and yellows against dark clouds.
A young kite (full-feathered and faintly striped) came right then over the treetops and flushed a katydid from the crown of an oak. The insect glowed green against that dark backdrop and seemed big as a Luna moth. Its solid and membrane wings were distinct in motion, even though the katydid must have been 70 feet up and climbing. The young kite gave chase, caught it once but fumbled and entered into the most improbable ringing flight you can imagine.
But with that giant neon insect pumping way out in the open, you had to guess another kite would see it, and sure enough an adult male (steely gray and glinting in the sun) stooped in at a crazy angle, top speed, and snatched the katy without slowing. It was absolute perfection, and made so much more clear and surreal by the sunset and storm.
And of course, no camera handy.