Thursday, June 15, 2006


Death and redemption

As detailed below, I caused the horrible and unsolicited death of a family of earwigs by displacing a rock around my birdbath area, sending the group of earwigs into a newly uncovered ant egg nursery. The ants responded by killing off the earwigs in a fascinating battle (see closeup of ant and earwig in left pic - I recommend clicking on it to see it in its full glory). The very same day, I was able to balance things out a little by saving a cute little baby robin (right pic) from the clutches of my cat Stella. At first, feeling sorry for the bird and sure that it would soon die, I decided to hold it for a while until it expired. But then it started to try to stand up, and opened its beek to me in hopes of food. I gave it some water with an eyedropper, then put it in a box while I researched a nearby critter rescue. An hour later, the baby bird was in the hands of qualified professional critter rehabilitators, who assured me the robin would survive.
Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Try this at home

I saw an advertisement the other day for a product that purportedly will kill all the ants in your yard. They probably sell a lot of that stuff. After all, ants are bugs, and if they're in the yard, it's only a matter of time until they come in the house, right?
Actually, no. And besides, there are a lot of reasons to welcome ants to your yard. For one, they help aerate the soil, keeping it loose so the lawn and flowers can grow better, and helping all that rainwater drain into the ground. But most importantly, they can be a major source of backyard entertianment if you keep your eyes open and on the ground.
My yard is full of ants, big and little, black and red and some in between. And they have wars.
I've witnessed two fullscale epic battles for the ages over the last three years, and they are really something to see, pluse countless minor skirmishes.
When they're not fighting, I sometimes instigate. To wit: Yesterday, I removed one of the bricks around my birdbath area, suspecting ants may be nesting underneath. To my surprise, they had created a major nursery for egg-ants under that brick. Plus, to my additional surprise, a nest of earwigs had taken up residence between the brick and another. So when I removed the brick, about 15 earwigs fell into the ant nursery. Chaos ensued. Initially, the earwigs registered a windfall, and began grabbing ant eggs. Then the military came out, thousands of ants coating every earwig, biting off antennae and butt-pinchers. They even coated a couple of unlucky sow bugs (roly-polys) that fell in as well, but they just rolled into their little balls and were safe.
I watched for about a half-hour as the ants killed all the earwigs and transported their youngsters to safety.
It was better than a movie!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Blog's adventures in the Blogosphere

Blog, his conical hat awry from scratching his matted grey hair, was immersed in podcasting. His stained blue robe no longer looked regal, for its stars and moons had faded in the glow of the cauldron he had been stationed by for weeks.
Encysted in a privacy bubble of his own making - Blog liked to call it the Blogosphere - he stirred and sifted his brewing substance until it reached just the right consistency, that of cheese.
"AHA!" he cried. "'Tis the perfect post!"
All that was left to do was to upload, but as he tried to podcast his post, Blog realized something was amiss. The Blogosphere had grown in power and strength - it was no longer just a product of his own devices. A bead of sweat formed in Blog's eyebrow and gravitated down towards his right eye. The air in the Blogosphere was growing thick as the casted membrane lost its pourousness.
Blog's sphere assumed properties not intended by its designer. Messages began scrolling across Blog's bubble, transmitted from all ends of the political spectrum. Blog looked left and right, and his formerly translucent bubble was becoming opaque on all sides. In the center of it all, Blog wiped the sweat from his eye, knocking his pointy hat off his head and into the cauldron.
Immediately, the cheese-like substance ceased bubbling and began emitting a whine akin to that of a petulant two-year-old. Blog, powerless and growing irritated by the noise, could only watch and listen as his beautiful post that he had worked so long and hard on, became something else entirely. Blog knew he had to act fast, but the only recourse left to him was a strategy he was reluctant to use. But it was his last remaining defense against the whine that was becoming more and more powerful in the Blogosphere's cauldron. Blog decided and committed himself.
"I call on the Blinded Eyes of Argus," he shouted at the whine and the scrolling type surrounding him on the Blogosphere, now so thick that very little could be distinguished as communication. "I ask of you the power of disheedfulness!"
Blog felt the electric, yet calming influence of that for which he asked. The spell was nearly complete, only the most powerful magic words left to be said.
"EFF IT ALL!" he shouted. "EFF IT ALL TO HELL!"
And the blogosphere shattered with a resounding crash. Making Lights fell to the left and Drudges fell to the right. In the center of it all, Blog was protected from the sharp fragmented messages by his powerful new discognizance.
His cauldron in ruins, filled with the remnants of the Blogosphere, Blog tipped the black vessel over and allowed the contents to flow to the drain in the center of the room. He prepared to fill it again, though he knew he would not be podcasting again anytime soon. Rather, Blog measured out an entirely different set of ingredients, stirred them together, and formed a virtual landscape within his cauldron. He then busily set about the task of designating zones within the map as commercial, residential or industrial, providing virtual power sources, and laying down a street system he hoped would make sense.
"Better turn disasters off for now," he muttered to himself.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?