Saturday, January 31, 2015

Items of Note

Milkweed bug? Your guess is good as mine.
St. Andrews Cotton Stainers

Hermit crabs that have been sitting in cages in a boardwalk shop or pet store have lost their joie de vivre; pick one up by his shell and he'll just sigh, ensconce himself, and sulk until you put him down. Hermit crabs in the wild really like to be picked up. They see it as an invitation to play a friendly game of Pinch the Fucker. The object of the game, as far as you're concerned, is to drop the crab in the 1–2 seconds it takes him to reach under and around himself with that big nasty claw and break the blood vessels in the softest, fleshiest part of your palm. If you lose the game, don't worry. He's always up for another round.

Also—and this is true—if a hermit crab on a steeply graded surface notices you coming, he'll withdraw into his shell, and start rolling downwards. You'll be walking up a hill, and shells will be tumbling down past your ankles. Real inconspicuous.

Hermit crabs seem to have excellent peripheral vision. Don't ask me how I found out. It's much less interesting a story than you probably think it is.

Geckos are not exactly swift runners; they actually have the power of short-range teleportation. As you approach, BAMF! The gecko 4-D slips two or three feet in the opposite direction, takes a moment to recharge its internal warp drive, and will teleport as many times as necessary to shake you off its tail (so to speak).

The flap on a gecko's neck is called a dewlap. When the dewlap is extended, the gecko is either telling you that it likes you or asking you to fuck off.  Gecko communication is similar to the Japanese language in the extent to which meaning is determined by context.

Hummingbirds will sit and chirp for you if you're patient.

Sea urchins are like Zen poems. You can't help but admire the virtuosity of their craftsmanship, but they obstinately resist all attempts at exegesis.

A lot of people aren't sure who they are or what they're supposed to be doing. Of every living animal I've seen, sea urchins seem the least likely to be able to relate to this, to the angst of existence or the plight of persistent, unanswerable questions about life and the universe. They know exactly what to do at all times, and they might even have a good idea as to why they should be doing it.

The pearly-eyed thrasher has really a striking gaze. Some ornithologists have dubbed it the "insidious thrasher," but I've found it to be a quite congenial bird. Of course, as a critter known for its ruthless voracity and inimical effects on any species with which it overlaps, it must sense in us a kindred spirit.

Tropical axiom: at the bottom of any hole in the ground that seems just large enough for a huge spider to pass through is a huge spider.

We need to disabuse the public of the myth about roosters crowing at dawn. While they are quite vocal at sunrise, this period of activity is overstated. They are just as noisy at dawn as they are during the rest of the morning, the afternoon, the evening, dusk, and at around 2:00 AM.

Most people aren't aware of this, but roosters actually crow to share conspiracy theories.


1.) "COCK-a-DOO-dle-DOO."

Translation: "BIRTH-cer-TIF-i-CATE."

2.) "COCK-a-DOO-dle-DOO."

Translation: "BACK-and-TO-the-LEFT."

3.) "COCK-a-DOO-dle-DOO."

Translation: "THER-mite-IN-deb-RIS."

You won't find these facts being reported by any of the major news outlets. In the face of the mainstream media's pusillanimous silence on these matters, the responsibility of getting this important and real information out to the public devolves to intrepid bloggers such as myself.


  1. My favourite post of yours in a while. I love your kind of humour (I've laughed to literal tears with some 8EB). In my completely irrelevant opinion, you are very gifted at humour and don't do it enough.

    1. Huh. I hadn't realized it had been that long since I'd done a funny piece until you pointed it out. Maybe I'll try and make it a priority.

  2. You seem to have some St. Andrews Cotton Stainers there, as well as the makings of a nature documentary series.

    1. Today's episode: Fiddler crabs and the insects that eat you alive as you try and fail to get a good snapshot of them.