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Finding a Way to Get Interested in Nature

This part of Arizona is crawling (literally) with caterpillars and poppies. Some moisture in the winter certainly has done this place some good.

There seems to be a caterpillar monoculture right now.

They are not particularly fun to look at; except for one thing. They crawl surprisingly fast across the roads and driveways. It's a good thing they do: it's a dangerous way to make a living! 

Perhaps because of their high speed, dogs notice these caterpillars, and come up to investigate. The dogs do not harm the caterpillars; they just come up slowly and sniff at them.

It's odd the way the caterpillar slams on the brakes and becomes completely motionless. In the past I've noticed rabbits playing the same trick on dogs.

After 10 minutes or so, the caterpillar shifted into 'Drive' again. It was a close call for this little critter. Humble though they be, there is a drama to the situation. It seems that there must be some sort of drama, or at least motion, for me to get interested in nature. I've never been able to get interested in plants, rocks, or lakes, unless special conditions prevail. Rivers, animals, and turbulent skies are much easier to get interested in. Perhaps some things -- such as plants, geology, or topography -- need to visualized as process and growth, rather than as static nouns.

That's the funny thing about insects. Few things are more amazing than the metamorphosis that caterpillars go through. It even puts the metamorphosis of the human female to shame. But I can't seem to get interested in caterpillars until a dog does!