Friday, July 29, 2005

All the small things.

Beetle Leg
Beetle LegBeetle Leg
Beetle Leg
Moth WingMoth Wings
Clover Blossom
Molted Cicada Exoskeleton
Molted Cicada ExoskeletonMolted Cicada Exoskeleton
Molted Cicada Exoskeleton


I decided to venture outdoors today. I spent around an hour walking around on the hill behind the house... I followed a mysterious wire down from the hill, all through the Blackberry bushes, around and around, then back up the hill, then back down again but lost it when it got too thick and I got distracted gorging myself on Blackberries.

While outside, I noticed the leg of a Stag Beetle laying by the steps... I picked it up and was admiring it... pondering the form and function of it... which also reminded me of whale flippers and how they're pushing the envelope of airplane design because of the scalloped edges which reduce drag. (see this article, down the page a bit where it shows the picture of a scalloped and smooth flipper)

I decided to see if I could get a picture of the leg to put on here... surprisingly my crappy old webcam can focus in pretty close. :-D So I took a few pics with that... adjusting the light etc. I then decided to see if I couldn't find other things to take pictures of.

So I wandered around for awhile... took a picture of a Clover blossom that was growing by my car. Then I wandered into the trees, and underneath a pine tree, near a dead rabbit, I found 2 of the wings from a Moth. It looks like he/she probably ended up as a meal for a hungry bird. Near that, I found the molted exoskeleton of a Cicada. I used to wander around my grandfathers property as a child looking for these on the trees. I also found a wing that appears to be from a freshly molted Cicada, so I'm guessing he ended up as a snack as well. :-( Not a lucky tree for the little critters I guess.

Anyway... it was nice to get outside and enjoy nature for awhile and to focus on the little things in life that make life so interesting. Sometimes it's easy to overlook the wonderful things right there at your feet.

(I know the Cicada exoskeleton might look pretty dirty and scary, but it's because they spend their adolescence underground for generally 2 to 5 years, up to sometimes 17 years before they burrow up and out and climb a tree to molt their exoskeletons and become winged adults. They feed on the juice from roots etc... from 1 foot to almost 9 feet underground. So the exoskeleton I found is understandably grubby and eerie looking... form follows function etc.)

4 comments:

Melanie said...

Pretty cool pics. We found a Cicada "skeleton" the other day. My kids were amazed. Scared the shit out of them too, which was funny as hell. Okay, i'm evil...

Phreadom said...

hahaha

I thought it was really cool when I found it... I started having second thoughts about it once I started taking the pictures and realizing that everyone else wasn't likely to share my enthusiasm. ;) I was really into entomology as a kid... had a huge bug collection and everything.

I just called my family to tell my sister that her pic was on my blog, and to have my mom look at the pictures I took... I figured that if anyone would appreciate them, she would... but she didn't seem to really care much. She was busy cleaning and arguing with my sister. :( Oh well. I enjoy them. :) and that's what counts I guess.

datamonkey said...

Funny you should mention this, as I was pondering the following the other day.

How awful would it be to be a creature gifted with the ability of flight, but lacking the ability to control where you go. It applies to insects who can fly, but tend to do so rather randomly. Things like butterflies and moths which are at the whim of wind current.

Then it occured to me, because I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree.

They have no control because they have no tails. I chalk it up to inherent design flaw.

Phreadom said...

Humorously enough, that figures in to one of the simplest arguments against "Intelligent Design".

Why would a perfect omnipotent, omniscient etc.. creator, screw up on his own designs? For instance, the human "blind spot"... many animals do not have this blind spot.. the reasons for which are rather simple for us who actually study physiology and biology etc...

*sigh*

I'm tired. Time for bed. *coma*