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Saturday, September 09, 2006

An Assassin Darkly

There was an extreme heat alert in affect (code red?) at the time this assasin bug nymph was hunting among the anise. Large drops of sweat were falling from my forehead, and a few thoughts crossed what passes for my mind: what the heck am I doing out here taking yet another pic of an assasin bug nymph? Jeez, I'm thirsty. That's it I'm going in. Wait he moved; oh, the light shifted. Is that sweat trickling down my shirt, or something arachnid?

Anyway, later when I looked over the photos, I liked the way the heat expressed itself in this one, cutting through the cool colors and dark tone with those multiple suns beating the spindly stems of anise into a mirage-esque caricature of shade. Or maybe it was just the sweat on the camera lens distorting the scene.

Haven't you ever wondered what the upper limit for heat tolerance by insects is? This assasin bug, for instance, was very active on this particular 100 degree + day. Doing a bit of research around the internet, I found a few papers hinting that just over 120 is about the limit for buggies, at least to maintain activity. Which reminds of a dream I had once, in which I was watching the TV news and the weatherman was saying it would be 120 degrees in Borneo that day, that always stuck in my memory like some sort of omen.

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