A few minutes passed and I couldn't shake the thought of the slow cricket in the tempest. I Googled crickets and indoors and food sources and realized that I wasn't even sure what type of cricket he was, or if he even was a cricket, or where he actually belonged. I didn't know if he was healthy or if he'd come indoors for respite. And there I'd left him standing in the dark 'n' stormy, a weather system getting so thick, it would soon be dark rum and ginger beer falling from the sky.
This spring we had what's called an "outbreak" of tent caterpillars in Seattle -- Malacosoma californicum -- a cyclical occurrence of every six to ten years where these white, diaphanous tents drape across branches of alder, apple, ash, birch, cherry, cottonwood, willow, fruit trees, and roses. The tents are shelter, shade, and molting sites for the vivid larvae inside. The caterpillars venture out in the day to feed on foliage, then return each night to hunker down in their fortress. The black speckles are frass, or caterpillar waste which accumulates in their temporary home.
When you consider that a wave of a hand, a cloud burst, a wing swooping through the maze of silk can destroy hours of labor, it's inspirational watching pure pragmatism rule the day ...
A noiseless, patient spider, I mark'd, where on a little promontory it stood isolated; Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding, It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament out of itself;