Slice of Life With Photo


This is reblogged from CK MacLeod’s (nee Zombie Contentions) where I was a contributor for a while writing under the unlikely nom de zombie “bob”.

Nature Preserve Pond
Nature Preserve Pond

Walking in the Nature Preserve yesterday, I didn’t see this.  The colors were there, and it was morning, but instead of clear light, steady rain alternated with downpours.  This picture suggests what I saw a few years ago.  I have seen nothing close to this again.

Binghamton University own the Preserve and the Biology Department uses it for a laboratory.  So what  I did see was a 40ish woman knee-deep in the pond, scooping up the water into a bus tub, with 15 or so young people, not dressed for the weather watching her.  She heaved it to the edge of the pond and all but yelled, “What do we see?”

Inaudible.  “Yes, water spiders!  Where did we see water spiders last week in the river?”

Inaudible. “Yes clinging to the rocks!  She then thrust her hands at head level and spread her finders as if she was about to grab onto the last rock.

The young people stood mute, perhaps flashing back to the life and death struggles they had witnessed only a week ago.

“Yes it’s so much easier for them here…they can just relax…near the pond edge the weeds make it harder for the fish to eat them.’

From One to Another

As the forest canopy approaches completion, Jack in the Pulpits erupt to full size.  A few are just ripe, but most are a visibly transducent green that the canopy itself manages to copy only for a few days.

Embedded on the spadix (the Jack), thousands of tiny flowers begin to bloom as the spathe (the Pulpit) develops its purple and white striping.   Slightly foetid, the plant attracts mosquitos and gnats. As they crawl down the inside of the tube, they brush against the flowers, pollinating them.  Continuing down past them, looking for animal flesh, the darkness and shape of the spathe disorient them.  Most of the insects eventually find their way out, perhaps in a slight insect daze, but some never do, and die inside.

What could be more Cyborg like?

Plant and insect united briefly in function operating independently of any intention, one part incapable of intention, the other full of an intention that is irrelevant to the result except for the force of its delusion.

What could be less Cyborg like?

This is the ground the Cyborg contests, the idea of Nature, apart from Humanity, the idea of intention and agency being the same, that the unintentional is the same as that without agency.