Yesterday I saw something that nearly made me drive off the road. A rainbow that was shaped like a backward letter N instead of being in an arch. A really bad picture of it is below. I wish it came out sharper. The only thing that I can think of is that it was a double rainbow plus a reflection off the calm, flat, glass-like river.
At that same time, one of my coworkers on another bridge saw a rainbow that started off as an arch, but then took a sharp right angle and ran parallel to the river. Unfortunately he didn’t have a camera.
That got me thinking about how weird nature can be sometimes.
I know a man who used to be a surveyor. One day he was deep in the woods surveying a property line when he came across a hive of very aggressive bees right where he had to stand. So he got some insect repellant and killed them all.
Two days later he was driving down the road with his window open and was unfortunately not wearing a seatbelt. Suddenly a bee flew in the window and stung him on the cheek. This caused him to swerve off the road and into a telephone pole. He flew through the windshield and broke his arm. He considers himself very lucky to be alive, and will now kill nothing, not even a cockroach.
Once I was using an electric weed whacker in the back yard when I happened to look over at the bar-b-cue grill. There was a bird hanging upside down from it. I turned off the weed whacker and slowly approached the bird, which seemed to be in a trance. Suddenly it shook itself and flew away. I can only surmise that it had been mesmerized by the hum of the engine.
A few years ago I was driving a van through Yellowstone Park and stopped at an intersection. When I looked to the left I was eye to eye with a buffalo. I could have reached out my open window and touched it. Having just come from a ranger station where I’d watched a video of people being tossed through the air by this very same creature, I remember thinking, “Please don’t hurt me.” He kept eye contact with me for what seemed like several lifetimes, and then he sauntered away.
One of my cousins had his car destroyed by a moose during mating season. Fortunately he wasn’t in it at the time.
When I lived in Mexico, I went into my bedroom one day and closed the door behind me. When I turned around, there was a tarantula on the back side of the door. I climbed out the bedroom window and went into town, but none of my friends would help me deal with this spider. Sucking up my courage, I went back home. I was creeping down the hall, wondering what to do, but knowing I had to do something, when around the corner came the spider. I don’t know which of us was more surprised. I just know that I jumped in sheer terror just as it lunged, and, well, suffice it to say that tarantulas make a weird splashing sound when they’re crushed that you’ll never forget.
In that same house in Mexico I was lying in the sun in the patio floor one day, and I looked over at the wall. It was rippling. I assumed it was an illusion from the heat, but soon realized that it was thousands of ants pouring down the wall. They came down the wall, crossed the patio, courteously parting to avoid me, then went up the other wall and disappeared. They were late for a very important date, apparently.
One day I was sitting on a couch with the boyfriend I had at the time, and we were talking about scorpions. I don’t think I realized just how much he was creeped out by that conversation until I saw a moth land in his hair. I said, “Don’t move,” and started to reach for the moth, and just as I did that he freaked out and swung his head and broke my nose. That was darned inconvenient as we were on holiday in a foreign country, and I wound up walking through museums with a swollen face, looking like I’d gone a couple rounds with Muhammad Ali.
I went camping once at a friend’s farm, and I woke up thinking for a moment that it was still pitch black outside, but then I discovered that was because I was looking straight up the nostrils of her horse, and it was actually quite light out. That was disconcerting.
There used to be an ape at a zoo in Central Florida that liked to spit at people, and had a deadly aim. I know this from personal experience.
Walking down the bridge after work one morning, there was a crow sitting on a lamp post and squawking at me. So I said to him, “Oh, shut up,” and he dive bombed me, hitting me in the head before flying over and sitting on the roof of my car. How he could have known which car was mine is beyond me. Freaky coincidence. I tried not to think of Alfred Hitchcock.
I went swimming with Dolphins at a place in South Florida, and the owner was telling us that one time all the dolphins surrounded a woman and kept echolocating her. When she asked him why they singled her out, he said, “I have no idea, but you may want to go get a check up.” She did. Turns out she had breast cancer.
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
– Hamlet (1.5.166-7), Hamlet to Horatio