Thursday, February 11, 2010

Getting psyched about Darwin Day

When I recently wrote about "getting psyched about Groundhog Day" I was being a bit facetious. This time I'm serious. I love February 12. It's the birthday of Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, and Edgar Allen Poe. Darwin is one of my heroes because out of his mind came one of the greatest paradigm shifts in human history. When I think of Lincoln, I think of one of our greatest presidents, but also, due to the commercialization of Presidents' Day, we gave up separate acknowledgment of Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays, and now school kids don't learn when they occurred. That seems to be the fate of many of our rituals and celebrations - find a way to make money off them or forget them altogether. As for Poe, I think I would have enjoyed being his classmate in school. Enough said about that. In honor of these three fellows, I am including two pairs of photos. A spider I spotted up in Eugene, Oregon, last summer, and a "redwood" moth, AKA cercropia moth on my daughter's hand in Leggett, CA. I've included a whole-body view and a close-up of each as a reminder of how incredibly beautiful most insects are when viewed up close. If I ever get into video, I expect to try lots of extreme close-up views of insects in the act of pollinating flowers, one of my favorite things to watch. Happy Darwin Day.

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