Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Can’t You See I’m Trying to Write??

Knowing as I do that invertebrates represent the vast majority (over 97%) of animal life, and knowing too that invertebrates are everywhere, I cannot in good conscience say that there are “more” invertebrates in North Carolina than there are here. I can, however, say that from my visit I’m convinced that there are many more visible invertebrates in North Carolina, and that their abundance and diversity surpasses anything I’ve seen in DC.

For example, I’ve never seen so many kinds of spiders before. I don’t have a lot of photograph evidence of this, though—since, not being skilled at instant arachnid identification, I hesitated to bring my lens too close to them for fear one would bite me in an excessively venomous manner. –But trust me, there were a lot of spiders.

There were also slugs, bees (carpenter, honey, and bumble), flies, and a variety of other multipodal creatures, like this huge and amazing millipede:

And these (perhaps-tent) caterpillars:

I was very excited about these caterpillars when I saw them along the small portion of the Appalachian Trail on which I wandered one afternoon; I also spotted lots of other cool insects, like this…um…katydid, perhaps…?

And this enormous (and slightly camera-shy) beetle:

After a while, though, I decided that I wanted to sit, eat an apple while admiring the river, and write. Unfortunately, the invertebrates had not been informed of my new agenda.

There I was, sitting on a rock near the water, trying to concentrate, and all these creatures were getting in my way.

The caterpillars landing on my jacket weren’t so bad, but the spiders that decided to colonize my rock were a little more alarming. And the tiny biting flies that landed all over and—well, bit me—were just too much.

[they even landed on my pen; how shameless can you get?]

I was in a state of incredible indignation for quite a while. Then, slowly—ever so slowly—my incredible temerity dawned on me. Here I was in the great outdoors, scandalized that these organisms were present in their own habitat. –How dare they treat me like the interloper that I was? Couldn’t they understand that I wanted to commune with nature? –And here was all this wildlife getting in the way!

Once I realized what I’d been doing, I was able to be a little less critical and a little more appreciative of this opportunity to be surrounded—albeit very closely—by nature.

It didn’t reconcile me to the biting flies, though.

[big scary hairy spider on my raincoat]

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

1 comment:

Anca said...

Great blog. You made me laugh out loud.

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