creepy, crawly critters

I love bugs. But I forgot how much, until recently. In college, I took every entomology class I could and spent countless hours frolicking in alpine meadows with a butterfly net and insect field guide in hand. I dreamed of traveling to tropical places, just so I could see cool bugs. Then I forgot about bugs for a while. Now I remember.

Perhaps it is the magic of living on the mesa. I remember telling a friend I was excited to get to know the hidden treasures of the sage covered mesa. From a distance it doesn’t have much lure. The vegetation is low-lying and seemingly lacking diversity, but I was convinced that there would be hidden treasures. Perhaps it is the low-to-the-ground nature of the mesa that draws you in to appreciate the details. Details like massive black beetles that can wriggle their way out of a tight grip with one quick somersaulting motion, or green caterpillars so fat and juicy looking you can almost appreciate why a bird would find them delicious.

Or perhaps it is the magic of experiencg the world with E man. His focus is often on the microscopic. The panoramic views are lost on him. He never looks for interesting critters, and so he sees lots of them. With his help, my focus is improving, my body and mind more still, my eyes more trained for the small movements that lead you to these interesting critters:
A walking stick, perfectly colored to match the seed heads of the tall grasses from which we plucked him.

An inch worm, when scared he extends his body to make like a branch of the twig. We missed that photo, but even so you can get the magic of his camouflage.

And so many more that we weren’t prepared to capture on camera. Nonetheless, I think there may be a lot of creepy, crawly critter photos to come.


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