Thursday, October 09, 2008
Today's rhetorical question is: Why do buggies spend so much time hanging upside down? This green stink bug, nezara viridula, bathed in the chloro-phylltered light under a pumpkin leaf offers a few reasons. Protection from excess solar radiation, respite from the heat of the sun, protection from predators that fly overhead, the health benefits of inversion therapy? If you rotate this photo around, you'll notice no perceptible difference in the stink bug's expression, proof that lower animals have no cognitive abilities and that the bug's "feelings" do not play a part in its choice to shelter under a leaf in the mid-day sun.
We sit under things, too. Trees. Umbrellas. Patio covers. The roofs of our houses. When it's hot out, I like sitting outside under the filtered light of the rose trellis or the strawberry tree. While I'm sitting (since, unlike the stink bug I don't have hooked tarsi to hang from)(and the stink bug, unlike myself, doesn't have the ability to build chairs) my facial expression and body language are often inscrutable. My people approach cautiously asking, "What are you thinking?" Likewise when things get scary outside we people go under the roof of the house to take shelter. Again, aside from bursts of animated expression while reading the news, people often have trouble reading the nuances of my expession because I like the stink bug am either lacking in cognitive abilities or in possession of those abilities and expressions beyond (or beneath?) the perceptive tools of those trying to read them.
Anyway, stink bugs and people seek out shade and protection because these things are good. As for inversion therapy, I'd like to try it someday before my back is a complete wreck.