The dark spots under the bugs are shadows made by the dimples their feet make in the surface of the water.

From the brushy riverbank on this warm September afternoon, I stare into a small pool of stagnant water that the river flow — what there is of it — has bypassed. The more I stare the more I see aquatic life in and on the water. Bidding high for my attention are gangly-legged insects only about a half-inch long but appearing as giant mosquitos moving atop the still water.

They are water striders, though the name doesn’t exactly fit what they are doing, for there is no striding happening here if it means taking long steps. No, the water strider is gliding, scooting, skimming, skating or any other similar word that could describe its rapid propulsions across the water.

Dave Greschner


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