Sunday, May 10, 2009

What the Hell is This?

Whenever I'm camping or hiking I always keep an eye out for the little things that one tends to encounter in such places. Nature can be pretty damned strange.

Take, for instance, this leaf that fell out of the live oak over our campsite at Little Talbot Island State Park in northern Florida last month. It fluttered down from the tree one morning and landed on our picnic table. That's our table cloth under it. The leaf was dry and dead, but on the underside of it were four orbs attached to the leaf. What were they? Were they some kind of tumor? Were they the sign of insect infestation? Bug eggs? Cocoons? I have no freaking idea.

I decided not to muck about with them. They could have been full of mold spores, for all I knew. Or I could be killing something by piercing them, and who am I to do something like that just out of curiosity? Life is a bit more important than my curiosity. So I just took a photo to show to folk I know who are far more knowledgeable about such things. I may find out. Or maybe I won't. Time will tell.

And what the hell was this?

I've posted a photo of this character before. We bumped into him (or maybe her--or it) at Rainbow Springs State Park in Florida a few days before we headed over to Little Talbot Island. What is it? Yeah, it's some kind of caterpillar. That much I can figure. But what does it change into? A butterfly? If so, what kind? A moth? The world's a giant mystery of species variation! Every patch of grass a different culture!

Next time yer out in the wilderness or taking a walk in the park or in yer front yard or even down the freaking street--take a moment and look around. You never know what kind of weird biological or botanical shit you'll find.

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