Sunday, November 08, 2009

Dudes, Getting Their Freak On.....

The OC stuck his head out the front door. I looked up from my book in the corner of the porch......

"Want to go for a walk?"

"Sure!" I said, delighted. He likes extreme exercise: golfing 'til he falls down from exhaustion; biking 'til he smashes his head; doing push-ups 'til I think I'll be calling an ambulance. None of which I enjoy. So a walk? You bet.

"OK. Off you go!" Cackle, cackle.

We found a hiking trail we hadn't been on before. Not a spot of great beauty, but typical Central Florida terrain; scattered long leaf pines, dense, scrubby brush, sugar sand underfoot, roughly parallel to the river.

Blue sky, fresh breeze, no other hikers in sight.

But what's this? You mean we're not alone out here?

"Raccoons," says the OC.

And this? What creature left such a delicately inscribed calling card?

A snake? No. Maybe a lizard? No. Here's the answer!

But we have no idea what it is. I think it looks as though a large bug is giving a piggyback ride to a smaller version of itself, most likely its offspring. The OC thinks that might be a caterpiller on its back.... Once we've seen one we start seeing them everywhere. And each one has a "passenger." Isn't nature marvelous! The OC just grunts. Not given to paroxysms of wonder and delight.

Hence the title Altus Curmudgeonus.

Back home I show my photos to The Bean to see if he can put a name on that interesting bug.

I zoom in on a couple of the pics so he can see the detail. I tell him how it seemed to me the mother bug was carrying her offspring........

"No, Mom. That's the mother alright, but that's not her offspring! That's the male...Dude's getting his freak on.....!"

Apparently, this is common in the insect world. Large women. Diminutive males. Intent on "getting their freak on." In broad daylight. In the middle of the afternoon.......Who knew?

Oh well. You could call this the first post I've written for the blog category I'm not in.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

Yeah, your son beat me to the punch, which is good because I wasn't sure how to break it to you since the creatures are clearly neither birds nor bees.

There is nothing like a bracing little walk in Nature, is there? :)

Warty Mammal said...


I used to collect ladybugs in jars, then set them free. Many would be giving each other what I thought, in my childlike innocence, were "piggyback rides".

Imagine my surprise when I found out what they were really doing.

persiflage said...

Yet more of the male sex getting a free ride from the hapless females. Hope they too enjoyed it.

Ali Honey said...

I'm so glad the Bean got his explanation in first, so I don't have toenlighten you.
I do like the fabulous pattern the legs and feet made in the sand.....I think my Bernina makes a similar one! ( not in sand of course )

riseoutofme said...

Nice expression "getting a freak on" .... not sure the males of the species will enjoy being referred to as freaks ... then again ..

Thimbleanna said...


thailandchani said...

Yes, but did he tell you what kind of bug it is? :)


raining sheep said...

I love bugs. When Adam and I went to Victoria a few weeks back we visited the bug museum and I got to hold some of the biggest bugs I have ever seen. I mean 'really' big.

Jess said...


I LOVE the first picture, all slow and Swanee-River-ish....

And hee!

Meggie said...

ok, I confess, I never heard that expression before... getting their 'freak on'??
Hmmmn, it seems we have a lot to learn, in modern lingo?!