On solitary walks, I tend to get caught up trying to remember the names of the flowers, the sea beans, the sea shells, the wildlife. Each familiar plant or animal gives me a friendly face to greet.
I’m never lonely in nature, even when I am alone.
But occasionally, the world seems too big, too crowded, too busy, too much. Sometimes, I need to shrink the world to recover the joy of getting lost within it. Micro-shelling changes my perspective. It narrows the world to only what I choose to focus on. Instead of seeking knowledge, I avoid it- and often find inspiration in the process.
Although most people who walked by while I was admiring this caterpillar shared the wonder of such a gigantic, colorful creature by taking photos and watching it wander down the sidewalk, a few imparted more negative opinions. One informed me that it would bite me (it didn’t). That it would burn me like “muriatic acid” (itdidn’t). And a third suggested I would catch a disease (haven’t appeared to). But none of these people knew the name of the caterpillar or even what it fed on. After identifying this larva online, I transported him to the nearest frangipani tree about 200 yards away, which had about 5 other Pseudosphinx tetrio caterpillars munching on the leathery leaves. Moral of this story- assess the risks and decide for yourself. If it has a mouth, it can bite. (I’d probably survive.) It could sting. (Again, I’d probably survive, but it is something to consider in advance.) And truthfully, if I got sick from a caterpillar, I’d probably think it was worth the novelty. (And I’d probably survive – and I’d definitely share the tale with others.)
Pseudosphinx tetrio caterpillar
And for true excitement, topped only by watching paint dry, some video of the caterpillar munching on a frangipani leaf.
Whether you’re a bird or a human, a nap during the day is pure luxury. It only can be accomplished when there is nothing urgent to be done, when there is time to relax and shut out the world. For me, though, the best part of a nap is when I wake just enough to recognize that I am no longer sleeping and slowly become aware- but not yet a part- of the world around me. In this regard, I envy birds and their third eyelids.
(adj.) growing in disturbed areas, on waste ground, or among rubbish
I live on a 2×4 mile chunk of dead coral that protrudes only 18 feet above the ocean. The cost of living is exorbitant and the competition for housing is fierce- for both people and plants. Many of our most common wildflowers aren’t much different than the humans in Key West- we both put a lot of effort into living in paradise.