As my day drew to a close last night, I decided on one last cigarette on the side porch. Grabbing my copy of Michael Ford's The Ten Thousand, I turned on the yellow-tinted "guaranteed not to attract bugs" porch light, and stepped outside.
Normally in summer, I don't make much use of the landing at the top of the stairs. Summers are fairly buggy here on the lake, and this one had been buggier than usual. More bugs means more spiders. I'm not fond of spiders at all, but I reach a sort of modus vivendi with them in the summer months: as long as they eat bugs and don't build webs where I run into them, I let them live. (Also, they should attempt to not be gross looking and should always avoid my observation, but I try to be tolerant.) This means that by mid-July, the landing at the top of the stairs is pretty well swathed in spiderwebs, so I stand rather still while reading to avoid being forced into a spider-killing frenzy by touching a web.
Anyway, I'm standing there reading, when I catch movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up in time to realize that I was about to be divebombed by the holy crap, no-kidding, biggest damn bug I have ever seen outside of a museum. I'd like to take this moment to apologize to my neighbors, as well as probably folks as far away as Sevierville, for the big girly shriek, followed immediately by the loudly slamming door, as I dove for cover. When it hit the door behind me (and it did; it was coming right for me,) it rattled the glass in the pane. This thing was huge. Gynormous. Whamdigeous. It had to be seven inches across the wings, and its body was as big as my thumb. It could have carried a regular moth under each wing, and a good-sized Luna on a centerline pylon.
I never saw it fly off.
It might still be waiting for me out there.
Jeez, I hate big bugs.