Wednesday, September 02, 2009

children of the night

Monday night I wished that I still had a job.

I do not regret retirement. I do not regret living in Mexico. Remember, I am a charter member of the Edith Piaf non, je ne regrette rien club.

What bothered me Monday night is that I simply could not sleep. And whatever it was, Jiggs was just as restless.

Maybe my body was feeling that two nights of sound sleep was enough.

Instead of sleeping, I drafted email, read my Lincoln biography, and wandered around the house as if I were waiting for my vampire wife to fly in from a busy night on the arterial.

I thought Jiggs would want a short walk on Tuesday evening. Simply because he would be tired. I knew I was.

Instead, he wanted to go to the beach. And not just any beach. We had to stop at the portion of the beach with the skim boarders and their canine groupies.

And an eventful evening it was. A young rottweiler wanted him to play. Jiggs did his best -- without falling over.

Then a yellow lab mix beach dog invited him to share chasing a bottle in the surf. Jiggs declined.

But Jiggs settled down into the sand just above the surf line. Watching each boarder run across the sand and skim over a wave. And keeping an eye on that dog as he worried his captive bottle.

There is always danger of imposing human emotions on our pets. But I could easily see in his eyes that his enjoyment of that moment on the beach had a melancholy subtext. The visual stimulation was what he needed, but he would have liked to have truly been a bigger part of the action.

Pulling him away from the beach was like trying to get a kid out of a swimming pool. But he finally tottered along behind me.

As I started to open the gate at the house, I thought I saw a swallow fly into the carport. It was too slow for a bat, and it was a little small for a swallow. Perhaps a juvenile returning to the nest late.

But when it approached one of the nests, a swallow batted it away. Instead, it landed on the bat's roost. Flat, not hanging.

You see the result. It is some form of moth wider than the span of my hand. The colors are subtle, but they would certainly fit a young vampiress on her night on the townies.

I am going to spend more time in that carport when night settles in.

Who knows: Maybe I will meet Bela Lugosi.


Tulum Living said...

I am glad that prof. Jiggs had a great time at the beach. I wish he could jump and dive in the waters more.

I have seen a number of those large moths as well here in Tulum. I am not sure what they are but they are certainly huge!

1st Mate said...

We had the same kind of moth in our bodega a couple of years ago -- awesome sight! Beautiful though subtle markings. Life probably isn't easy for such unique creatures, which is probably why they have those creepy, reclusive ways.

I'm glad Jiggs had a good day at the beach. He's lucky to be able to retire in such a beautiful place, and so are you.

Anonymous said...


The phrase, crazier than bat-sh**, somehow comes to mind. Have you been drinking absinthe?

Did the moth talk to you? Did the moth have an important message for just only you that no one else could hear? Did you jam a pencil into your right brain lobe, causing yourself to hear voices?

If the moth asks you to go to dinner for good wine, food and conversation, then by all means go. And try not to wear colors that will clash with his wings.

If he instructs you to stand in front of throngs of people to introduce a new Historical Truth, turn him down. And go to bed.

A Nony Moose

Chrissy y Keith said...

Maybe it is a male black witch moth. Just a guess from the size and photo.

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Cute post! Sure would like to meet the infamous Prof. Jiggs. Why not come up to the highlands, escape the heat, and visit and let us meet Sr. Jiggs?

Howard said...

Some notes on the black witch:

"The Black Witch has a fascinating cultural as well as natural history. Known in Mexico by the Indians since Aztec times as mariposa de la muerte (butterfly of death). When there is sickness in a house and this moth enters, the sick person dies. (Hoffmann 1918) A variation on this theme heard in the lower Rio Grande Valley (Southmost Texas) is that death only occurs if the moth flies in and visits all four corners of one's house." For more of the reference see:

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

YIKES! I remember seeing those in scared the crap outta me...they're so BIG!

1st Mate said...

RE: Howard's scholarly notes, nobody died when I found Black Witch moth in the bodega. But then, I didn't let him into the house. Maybe some cockroaches kicked the bucket.

So much for my idea of adopting one as a pet...

IreneAdler said...

That's a beautiful moth. It's coloring looks like a tapestry.

Steve Cotton said...

Tulum Living -- I am simply happy that he can get enjoyment out of watching.

1st Mate -- Unique they are. And we have certainly found out a lot more about them.

A Nony Moose -- You think I am crazy? Wait until you hear tomorrow what I discovered today.

Chrissy -- You are correct. It is a Black Witch Moth. I think I wll do another post tomorrow. Fascinating beasts.

Mexican Trailrunner -- I very well may take you up on that offer.

Howard -- Thanks for the information and the photograph.

Cynthia -- It is easy to see why the locals consider them to be omens.

Steve Cotton said...

Irene -- I thought the same thing when I looked at the photograph enlarged. Very subtle. Of course, when you spend your life in the dark, it does not do much good to wear sunny yellows.

Carports said...

We get moths like that in Australia all the time. Beautiful creatures.

Steve Cotton said...

Carports -- I need to pay more attention to the nightlife around here. When the sun goes down, Jiggs and I usually retreat inside to get away fromn the bugs.