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Monday, May 4, 2009

Tetranychus urticae-

I was sitting outside of my tent this afternoon when I noticed a little arachnid crawling on my sleeve. It caught my eye due to a vibrant orange color. The whole creature was orange, which is not to say much due to its extremely small size. I only had my phone camera with me, and this thing was just too small to capture that way.

I don't think I have seen anything else in nature that color. It was so small, and quite beautiful. Lacking capture equipment and a field microscope I was unable to capture and view it closely. Trying to move it led to its demise. I do not like needless death, even in something so small. It made me sad.

Looking for it on the Internet, I found the name that is the title of this blog. It is not a positive identification, but quite probable. None of the photos I found on the Internet were as vibrantly orange as this little creature.

The child scientist that has always resided within me longs to acquire capture tools, a field microscope, and suitable photographic equipment to always be ready to safely gather records of such encounters. All without damaging such delightful little creatures.

Considering that I willingly engage in the joint slaughter of the multitudes of cows, pigs, chickens and the like just to feed my face, such sensitivity seem ludicrous. Still, I do not willingly destroy the creatures with which I share my world, recognizing that many contribute to a better life for me and my family. Few are damaging, and even those only need to be destroyed when they encroach on our lives in a destructive fashion.

Such a lovely orange. For those few moments I was able to observe the Tetranychus urticae, my life was enhanced.

Perhaps I should indulge that child scientist. My life may be just a bit richer for the investment.

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