July 7, 2015
(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th years where I write and illustrate a blog on each day’s gift.)
Whoever would have guessed that there is a symbiotic macro world right outside my door? A cluster of moving black spots on a potted weed alerted me to this tiny world. Even with eyeglasses, I could not see what was there, so I looked through my camera’s macro lens, snapped a few photos and then enlarged an image on my big screen monitor. Amazing!
What I had originally thought was a group of ants really turned out to be aphids and their ant herders. I have learned that the aphids feast on the plant and then excrete waste called honeydew. Ants love the aphids’ poop, which happens to be high in sugar content. Sometimes the sugar-greedy and impatient ants even milk the aphids by stroking them with their antennae. However, if this is done too much, the aphids lose the ability to defecate on their own and then they cannot live without their ants.
Sometimes real life can replicate the natural world in unusual ways. For instance, in our modern culture, humans have a symbiotic relationship with technology, especially their smart phones: friends and family have constant access to me through my iPhone; my pharmacy texts me when my prescription is ready; if I buy something from an art festival, my credit card is swiped on another iPhone; I conduct business when I upload my cell phone photos to Getty. And so on.
How did I ever live without a smart phone? Have I been milked too much by my digital herder?
My gift today is a window to another world.
You can find links to my other posts on this project here: