beauty in the tiny things

Where do you see beauty?

Not the best photo, but this may have been a speckled bush cricket

The other day I was sorting out the guinea pigs for the night when a cricket hopped into view. The movement made me jump, initially, but once I got down for a closer look, I was fascinated by its long antennae, vibrant green body and what I found out is called an ‘ovipositor’ (i.e. egg laying apparatus – this was a female).

Then a couple of days later we discovered a very small, beautiful creature on the window sill, sadly dead, attracted by the light and then trapped, unable to get to life sustaining nectar.

It was a green carpet moth; my initial hunt through our ‘complete insects’ seemed not to find it – yet I realised this was because its wings were held out as if in mid flight.  The picture in the book showed it as a triangular shape, with its wings held back – obviously its normal resting position. But the colouring and pattern made it easy to identify, once I’d worked this out. I took this photo and then gently let it fall out of the window – ‘fall’ is the wrong word; it floated, so light that it rode the breeze like a tiny feather.

Green Carpet Moth (deceased)

Often people shriek at and scorn insects.  But their delicacy is remarkable.  I think moths are at least as beautiful as their glamorous cousins – the butterflies – not least because of those incredible feathery antennae.

I think I’ve confessed in another blog post that the only insect to make me ‘shrieksome’* is what I call a daddy-long-legs – a crane fly.  They are so erratic, flying at you, and so fragile they can leave a leg behind them…but perhaps I need to challenge myself to appreciate their beauty too.

What have we dismissed, because we haven’t looked closely?  What habits or passed-on-fears have stopped us appreciating the diversity of life?

What delicate beauty have we ignored without realising it?

*A word I just invented.

By Lucy Hannah

Lucy is a mixed media artist with a particular interest in acrylics and feltmaking. She is also an experienced writer and editor.

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