The insect looked all wrong.
It had bitty wings on a loooong body. Too many legs. And a big, see-through something that looked like a tail. I leaned in for a closer look.
A tree cricket was molting.
Image Credits: Carol Doeringer.
She was scaling our home’s vinyl siding. Slowly and deliberately, she would lift a leg. Sometimes, she waved it in the air. Then her foot patted the siding several times before committing to a landing spot. She seemed to be checking for obstacles like a sight-impaired person might use a cane to survey the sidewalk.
I peered closer. Then I saw the reason for her wary walking.
It couldn’t swim, but not for lack of trying. The moth pushed and pulled its wings, as though doing the breaststroke. Bert pulled the creature from the water. The soaked moth flapped its wings, turning quarter circles on the pool deck.
But the hot concrete was scorching my bare feet. I thought the insect might fry before it had a chance to dry out and fly.