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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Struggle To Survive

It's 3am and I JUST finished editing the 30+ photos I took this afternoon. Imagine me going back to my room to transfer photos after every 7 - 10 shots.

I will upload most of the photos by tomorrow (18 - 20 hours from now).

I must warn you that they are not for the faint of heart. If you hate bugs, and the photos of the kerengga gave you the willies in the past posts...then perhaps you should come back next week. It's almost like that Discovery Channel documentary called, "Final Hour" or something. Tells you the second-by-second happenings as they unfold. Or was it minute-by-minute? You decide later.

I have spiders, and caterpillars (again!). Plus some water droplet shots. It rained for a minute and then stopped. So the droplets you see are a result of Dad watering the plants.

Enjoy this photo of Michaelmas Daisies. And to think I used to hunt for photos of these daisies online just so I could make my website better (that section is called 'The Meaning of Flowers'). Anyways, I'll leave you with another photo. Of the really cool-looking spider I mentioned about earlier.

Cool, no? Look at the pattern on its thorax. Be back later. Bye!


Okay, I am back. I'll show you some of the spider pix, and then the caterpillar pix. Isn't that spider a beauty?

Yesterday, as I was on my way to the anona plants at the back, I noticed a spiky caterpillar on a mango leaf. It was just above my head. It pays to be observant. I thought I would just take a shot or two of the caterpillar and be on my way. But as the events unfolded, I just couldn't keep away. If it wasn't for the fact that I couldn't really tell if the photos came out right at the time of clicking, I would have had more shots. I had to delete a lot that were blurry. So I just selected the few that seemed okay. I had to return twice to upload my photos and reformat the internal memory. And then I got lazy (it got hotter) and by the time I returned two hours later, there was no sign of the caterpillar.

So I walked to the other corner of the garden, hoping to catch a glimpse of the spider again. But it had moved. It had destroyed its web. I'd like to think that the wind had bothered it, and not my camera stuck in front of its eight eyes. My Dad told me where its newest location was. And it was too difficult to reach. Over the kerengga-infested wall, on a durian branch. That was when the kerenggas got my attention. I followed the trail and soon enough, I spotted another helpless caterpillar being carried by three kerenggas. At one moment, I felt pity for the poor creature and tried blowing the ants off their feet. I saw the acid spray out from the back of their thoraxes. Kerengga have a weak acid as a defense mechanism. When intruders approach too closely, they arch their backs til their thoraxes point to the front and start spraying. Once, when Mum sprayed their nest and they fell down to the ground, the grass around the site of the massacre was burnt by all the acid as the ants died in agony. I don't like kerengga because you can't wipe them off your skin. They stick to you and when you try to wipe them off, they stick to your hand and then they BITE. I'm sure you've noticed those pincers. Sometimes, they bite so hard, they don't let go even after death. I've seen kerengga heads stuck to clothing, it's THAT extreme. Back to that caterpillar. As I blew, I noticed that it was still moving a little. It was alive! I wonder what happens once it's in the nest. Does it get fed, like how chickens are raised for slaughter? There are times when you think about the cruelty that happens to some creatures by other creatures, and then realize that we're no better ourselves. Hmmm...

After all those shots, I got tired of kerenggas and started looking at flowers again. And noted that Dad had watered the feng shui plant. Saw the water droplets, all round like drops of mercury and I just HAD to take those pix. Enjoy!

Take care all!