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Perched on the dashboard, it had survived the snowstorm that began the evening before. Snow continued falling all day and the temperature plummeted to single digits.

Much later in the afternoon, after about a foot of fluff, he was there in the car to greet me after a blustery and snowy walk from the office to the parking lot.

I say “him.” To tell the truth, I didn’t check. I know, I know. More prejudice!

Mindlessly getting in the car and, as quickly as possible, jamming the key into the ignition while cranking vigorously in order to blast the car’s heat, he went unnoticed until I was securely seated.

Not a peep.

Just staring at me. Probably wondering what took so long, in the freezing cold.

I’m not sure where or how the expression “Cute as a bug’s ear” came about. Because rarely does one bother to inspect so closely, I assume.

At best, people’s response to such critters is a swat or a smush. Gently picking up with a tissue seems out of the question.

Ear or no ear, this one was anything but cute.

Maybe his (again!) orange colored shell is endearing to, say, RIT loyalists. It was colorful, I’ll give him that. Though I believe the preferred color name for the school color is burnt umber, or some such exotic name.

The six legs weren’t so cute. Nor were the antenna.

Not nearly as large as a dime, this guy most likely wouldn’t be able to do anything bad to anyone.

Still, the bug on my dashboard, in the middle of winter, was a little disconcerting.

I would have been no more pleased were it summer. But I wouldn’t have been too surprised, either.

Having practically frozen my whatdoyacallit off during the ten-minute walk to the car, how this guy came to rest on the dash remains a mystery.

Maybe he was hibernating – in the engine – all this time. And thought mid-February a good time to appear. It was, after all, Ground Hog Day.

Ushering him out into the cold with the sweep of my hand, he landed up-side up in the snow.

Another six weeks of winter, I suppose.

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