August 5th, 2012

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Velvet Ant

I saw a velvet ant today, and squashed it.  They are pretty to look at, but ...

1) They don't belong in this area; they belong in hot, dry, sandy habitats.  I can understand the confusion, but I choose to clarify it with the sole of my shoe.

2) They are parasites of bees.  I greatly prefer bees, who are useful pollinators.

3) The females have a particularly obnoxious sting.  Why only females?  The "stinger" is her ovipositor.  Now that is one ferocious hoohoo.

Also they're quite difficult to stomp to death.  When I came inside to look up references, I read that they have an exceptionally strong exoskeleton.  Oh yay.  Terrific when making monsters, not so much fun when trying to keep an unpleasant invader out of one's ecosystem.

Usually I take a "live and let live" stance with outside wildlife.  But non-native, obnoxious species do not get that leeway.
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Visit Fictobiology

fictobiology is a community for people who enjoy imaginary life forms.  Read, write, draw, or otherwise explore ecosystems from other realities.  I love this stuff.  I especially love getting into fairly detailed territory with it, so for instance, I know about the digestive system of my Hailen centaurs and the aggressive reproduction of my Branchian aliens.  Biology is weird.  Weird is good.
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Bat Signals

Tonight the sky is a clicking, squeaking whirl of bats.  I surmise that this is a result of the recent rain activating the insect population.  They may be big brown bats, which roost in buildings as well as caves, are common, and have a sizable wingspan for small bats.  I am happy to see bats because they are prodigious insectivores.  Also bat populations are plummeting due to white-nose syndrome so bats in the air = good.
Hart's Farm

Poem: "Farm to Market"

A shooting has occurred at a Sikh temple, and is probably a hate crime.  I am responding by posting a poem about healthy community life and civil ways of responding to conflict.  Energy flows where attention goes.  I believe that our choices as creative people can influence the culture around us.  Choose something postive.

This poem came out of the June 19, 2012 bonus Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from aldersprig, rix_scaedu, and the_vulture.  It belongs to the series Hart's Farm, and you can read more about that on the Serial Poetry page.

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