I have been thinking about the "Butterfly Effect" recently. You know, not the cheesy movie but the general concept from chaos theory, positing that a butterfly flaps it's wings in Peru, the groundhog doesn't see his shadow, we have six more weeks of winter and that causes a hurricane to form off of Africa--all because of the minute perturbations in the atmosphere caused by that Peruvian butterfly. I had my own "Butterfly Effect" experience, and it wasn't a subtle perturbation.
I was riding downtown on a one-way, quasi-residential, quasi-business street, doing about twenty-five miles an hour and cruising up towards a fairly major intersection with a rapidly yellowing green light.
About three or four car-lengths short of the intersection , I noticed this absolutely beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail floating on the breeze like the notes of a song--then following the airstream directly up and under my visor. The wind plastered it across my face, with thorax along my nose and one wing completely blocking each eye. This crazed kamikaze butterfly was trying to kill us both in some ferocious lepidopteran rage.
I proceeded through the intersection, relying completely on my mental recollection of what I had just seen, while delicately removing the poor butterfly from my face with my clutch-hand and grinding it to bits on my leg(Just kidding--it actually flew away once I got it out of my helmet).
But my good friends in Disaster Relief at the American Red Cross will be happy to know that based on the results of this weekend's ride, there should be a significantly fewer number of hurricanes forming off the coast of Africa--if you know what I mean.
You don't have to thank me.