More millipedes, six inches long and shiny as mahogany fiddles. They look like little trains, like the Coast Starlight trucking along. Many wide holes of what Jan calls “evening ants.” If you poke in a stick and bring an ant up into the sun, instantly it dies. Each hole is surrounded by a spread of tiny discarded juniper twigs.
Clear bear tracks in the damp sand of the water chute.
Best of all, near the end of the long day and worn out: four adults lying on their bellies on the sandstone, watching a millipede poop.
Late summer, hiking on the syncline: dozens of millipedes, the color of polished violins, in frantic, foot-waving travel. Next spring we’ll find their husks, curled in tight spirals and weathered white as chalk.
On the road out we were passed by an enormous RV. From a distance its size-to-speed ratio was exactly that of a millipede.
Jemez foothills in thunder season. A rattler was getting the heck out of there. A million millipedes the color of violins were footing it furiously, looking like baby snakes.
Jan said, “It’s the crawliest day I’ve seen in a long time.”*