Beauty Harvest

Seeing some small shadow flit briefly by the window late last evening, I remembered seeing a couple of hummingbird moths by the honeysuckle vine back in early June. Decided I’d go take a look while Randa and Jaylon finished eating their supper. Sometimes a bit of a head start on one thing opens up opportunities on another.

Even with my head start, it was already dark enough that I couldn’t tell much about colors outside. Shapes were still clear but not the details of color so much. I know the hibiscus blooms are a light red, almost pink color and the roses are a dark red. The honeysuckle vine that Randa planted two years ago has climbed its way to the top of the black metal trellis that sets right against the white siding of the house. From there, it has formed a thick heavy clump with some vine ends sending their tips toward earth in graceful curves that swayed a bit in the light breeze. Its slender trumpet blooms are yellow at their base, transitioning to a deep red at the opening. And last night, it was those openings that seemed to create a small Eden for a few unfallen angels.

At least five hummingbird moths dipped, darted and hovered about the honeysuckle, moving from bloom to bloom. The wind from their wings shimmered the leaves as they flew from sip to sip. The largest ones looked about four inches long with a wingspan neighboring on six inches. In the dusk, I could not tell much about their coloring but did notice that two of the smallest ones had striped abdomens. Occasionally, one of the moths would move along the row of roses and then make a quick circle of the hibiscus. Most of the time, though, all five of the creatures made their business about the honeysuckle vine.

At the time she planted it, I thought that Randa was setting the honeysuckle simply for the sake of the pleasure we would take in seeing its blooms and smelling their fragrance. Of course, it would not be even slightly unlike her to be thinking a lot more than she was saying. We’re kind of opposite in that way; I tend to say a lot more than I think.

Personalities to the side for the moment, it was clear that we have gained more from having beauty near than what I suspected or expected. We’ve also seen a hummingbird or two checking out the same blooms of honeysuckle and hibiscus and the roses, too. From what I can tell, deliberately putting some beauty into your life often draws other beauty as well.

Having never even heard of hummingbird moths until four years ago and having only seen two or three in my whole life, I find them fascinating. Standing there in the coming darkness, I felt like a little kid seeing his first dragonfly land on the end of his fishing rod.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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