Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Nature Photos

Admittedly these days, my nature photos have been limited to seeing cool looking arthropods in Jen's yard and snapping a photo with her cool camera. But insects and spiders are an under appreciated bunch, so I feel justified. This morning, one of my favorite shows, featured insects and how important they are to us ecologically and economically. One estimate suggests that insects alone provide billions of dollars to the US economy. And what do they often get in return? Quick exodus into the afterlife by the accidental or intentional shoe. Anyway, my personal appreciation of insects continues to increase. Here are a few photos.

Jen and my excursion into the Piney Woods of East Texas was cut short, unfortunately. We were able to spend some time with some good friends though, and see a part of Texas that I've actually more than Jen (albeit only once). Sadly the above photo is the only natural subject I was able to 'capture' in that ecosystem. Scorpions are cool. I've always thought so. I know very little about their natural or evolutionary history. But this much I do know: the scarier looking the scorpion, the less toxic. This is a generality; I wouldn't recommend handling one at all. But the small, cute ones tend to be more dangerous. The idea is that evolutionarily, scorpions that have traits fixed for 'looking scary' tend to have fewer traits for venom production, and vice versa. Why invest energy in making defensive toxins when everyone is scared of you in the first place? Makes sense to me. This little fellow was about an inch long, so I'm presuming danger. I captured him in a cup and released him to his environment: outside of the cabin in which we were staying.