(Not to reveal the turn before it’s time, but if you’ve got any phobias regarding things with more than six legs and eyes, don’t go below the fold.)
Ah, late spring in the Pacific Northwest! So green and lovely. One thing nice about working in the burbs is that the sidewalks are lined with Nootka roses. You don’t even have to stop to smell ‘em – the heady scent fills the still evening air and swirls around in the eddies caused by your brisk stroll. And yes, you’re strolling briskly rather than ambling, because you’ve only got a fifteen minute break and you want to have a quick visit with the creek before you’re due back.
All right, have I set the scene? Now, imagine you’re bopping along, and you’ve had your look at the creek, and you even have a few minutes left to stop and smell a rose. Only there’s a bee dangling from one.
Now, normally, these little buggers are buzzing around like – well, you know there’s a reason why “busy as a bee” is a cliché. So this is a prime opportunity, and so you unlimber the camera in the soft twilight. And you get to work documenting some bee anatomy.
Poor little sod. You can tell it was busy collecting pollen not long before – see it on the legs, and wings? But you’ve seen those bits of a bee before. It’s harder to get their belly. Heh heh, bee bellies. Let’s see if we can see it.
And you’re rather intent on turning your bee without jarring it, so you don’t notice at first exactly why the bee is dangling from the rose in the first place. If only you’d had the advantage of a cropped image and hindsight…
And just as you’re about to get your best shot ever of a bee-belly, along comes the spider that caught it to see what you’re up to with its dinner.
People talk a lot about being more in tune with nature, being more natural, emulating nature, that sorta thing. And for a long time now, I’ve been thinking, but we’re already all that. I mean, seriously. If someone was rummaging around in your pantry, molesting your dinner, you’d come down to see what was going on, right?
And you’d check on the food, yeah?
And then, having ascertained that all is well, you’d wander back upstairs to continue whetting your appetite, amirite?
So. Lovely. That’s nature, then, critters paralyzing critters and saving them for later munching, beauty turned to sinister (from the bee’s perspective) purpose. And that’s us. We do this, too, you know: prey on other critters, use beautiful things to help satisfy our more pragmatic needs. The unnatural thing about us, I think, is that we don’t realize we’re emulating nature all the time, whether we’re doing beautiful, gentle things or really gross and brutal things.
So I swear to you, the next time someone tells me I should take a cue from the natural world or emulate nature or some such fluffy nonsense, Ima ask them if that includes eating something several times my own size. Raw.
I’m not very nice sometimes.
As for the bee belly, don’t worry. We got it.