Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Bug Saves the Day

A few days ago I explored the FRC nature trail in search of Shelton's Violets.  They're usually the first wildflowers to bloom out there, but so far all I've seen are the early leaves.  Today was no different.  Well, one difference.  Last time I hiked out there I only had nature notes and photography on my mind.  Today, however, my mind was buzzing with thoughts about a discussion some friends and I had yesterday about the U. S. Constitution.  Is it our guardian of freedom, or is it a document meant to maintain privilege - the plutocracy.  Most people, it seems to me, if they've read the thing at all, interpret it to fit what they think it ought to be, and are not really equipped to say what was intended.  This phenomenon is very apparent in the current debate among Republican candidates for president.
So, as I went on my futile walk in search of blooming violets, I was daydreaming about an essay I want to write for a blog post soon.  My working title will be a rhetorical question:  Is Nature a Republican or a Democrat?
Although I returned home a little unsettled, and having taken NO photographs, I noticed a beautiful bug outside on a window screen (above).  It's a Leaf-footed Bug, a member of the Family Coreidae.  It bears resemblance to the Western Bloodsucking Conenose and other members of Family Reduviidae, known for, among other features, their role in spreading Chagas' Disease.
As a preview of the aforementioned essay, let me just say I believe Darwin's description of the workings of Nature would qualify 'her' as a Democratic Socialist - pretty much left of today's Democrats.
However, a common view of Darwin, especially among those who have not read him, but have somehow been tainted by Herbert Spencer's misinterpretation of Darwin, would place his description of Nature in the Republican (or Tea Party) camp. In his hands-on biological studies, Darwin did not spend much time observing the "red in tooth and claw" stuff, but rather studied barnacles, earthworms, and pigeons.  He wrote a great deal about cooperation and symbiosis.  But, I'm getting
ahead of myself.

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