August 03, 2010

The ones that got away

Aside from links and comments about current events, Goat Rope is all about gratuitous animal pictures. Many of these are captured right here on the farm or in the course of travels.

This latest gem was found on the farm by the Spousal Unit. Praying mantises are one of my totem animals and are associated with a style of kung fu. I have related here before about how I got beat up by one such insect several years ago.

But sadly, we don't always have a camera around when we need it. During a recent trip to Vermont, we saw baby beavers while we were splashing around in a tributary of the White River. They were cute little buggers, especially the tails. Alas, we probably won't run across any of those any time soon.

Another one got away earlier this week as we were taking the dogs on their ritual 2 mile evening walk. It was an ichneumon wasp dragging a big but stunned spider across the road. If you recall, these guys stun their prey so they can move and lay eggs in them. The unlucky critter, an arachnid in this case, provides a living dinner to the larvae. Slowly.

This variety of wasp created great theological problems in the 1800s when people tried to find proof of divine providence in nature. Those seeking to find evidence of this had no problem with ordinary hunting and predation, but this kind of feeding seemed a bit...unsportsmanlike.

Lao Tzu said it best, "Heaven and Earth are not humane."

RESTORING THE MIDDLE CLASS. Here is a speech by Elizabeth Warren, who, if there's any justice, will head the new bureau of consumer protection.

HERE'S ANOTHER ONE. I don't always agree with this columnist, but I'm with him on letting the Bush era tax cuts go the way of archaeopteryx.

COAL, MONEY AND ELECTIONS. Here's an update on all three from Coal Tattoo.

GOING GREEN. Orangutans seem to be ahead of humans.


1 comment:

Hollowdweller said...


There is a beaver dam and allegedly an adult and 3 babies there on Charley's Creek Road about a mile and a half above where you turn off to my road.

The guy that owns the land has been down there taking movies of them.

According to another neighbor they were farther up Charley's (toward Hurricane) but they moved down.