Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bouquet of Caterpillar: or, The fennel of youth

I had come to photograph the fennel wasps again: the yellow blossoms seem to exert an irresistible force over the insects, and on my first afternoon visit the whole garden had vibrated with their buzzing.

This time, however, the wasps were sparser, and I had the leisure to observe these subtle soft-bodied creatures clinging unobtrusively to stems.

For such dramatically colored animals they blend into their surroundings remarkably well. It was luck when I found the first, and the result of much effort to find two more. For all I know there were a good dozen (at least) that I didn’t spot.

Their heads were tucked down as if they were bashful or playing a game of hide-and-seek.

Perhaps they’re hoping that they can camouflage themselves even against metamorphosis: that if they conceal themselves cleverly enough, the summer will go on forever, an eternity of long warm days and drowsy twilights and ripe green plants to gorge on, and they’ll never age or change or lose themselves to the betrayals of the flesh.

Each day that the light dies earlier, I understand that hope a little more.

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

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