Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wild Wildlife: Small Worlds

[a goldfinch preening]

Even when walking through the zoo I’ve been trying to pay more attention to the unofficial flora and fauna around me, from the starlings trilling in the trees to the flowers and plants beaded with water glittering in the light.

When some good friends I haven’t seen in years came to visit, I had more opportunities to observe and enjoy non-zoo wildlife, since we visited several little gardens around the National Mall. We admired the odd flowers in the Ripley Garden, like a waterfall of petals that sprouted into little yellow firework flowers:

I noticed the decaying leaves covered in droplets of water, beautiful in their death:

And we goggled at a plant whose leaves were covered with sharp, stiff thorns:

Looking more closely at one of these leaves, I noticed a strange and interesting arthropod traversing its surface. It wasn’t an insect: we counted eight legs. And yet a couple of these “legs” looked a lot more like claws—as if this insect were some kind of pseudo-scorpion.

I took a couple of close-up shots, and I would have taken more, but the potential scorpion approached the camera and raised its claws very aggressively, so I backed away and went back to admiring the flowers.

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}


pattinase (abbott) said...

Gee whiz, I wish you had come to Paris with us. We'd have much better pictures and a good companion.

Anca said...

I second that emotion.

Naomi said...

I particularly like that goldfinch photo.

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