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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

It's not always pretty

Nature, that is. Sometimes, it's downright cruel, depending on one's perspective, but humans do not have a consistent attitude toward predators.

Yesterday morning, the early sun created a shimmer in what turned out to be insect wings caught in a spiderweb strung between a maple tree and a large pot of coleus on the garden wall.. Light passing through translucent membranes has a definite beauty.

The wings, it turned out, had belonged to a cicada, probably one of those singing a few evenings ago. This unfortunate individual had become a meal for some sort of orbweaver, perhaps the cavatica over whom so many of us wept in Charlotte's Web. I must admit to being taken aback at the sight of a large spider sucking the liquified former innards from a cicada corpse just a few feet outside our door.

The first reaction of most of us is probably some variant of "Ewww!"

Another small predator was hiding on a hydrangea leaf just a few feet from the spider and its meal. Why do we have such a different reaction to this guy, who does not eat cicadas only for the reason that he is half the size of that noisy summer insect?

Another human quirk to ponder.

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