The Way To See

Hey guys –

My “s” key has been acting up lately, so I apologize for any missing s’s in my future posts.  Pleae understand that half the time, when I am writing a blog post, I am almost never looking at the computer screen.  I am looking at the television, or my roommates, or at my surroundings – sometimes I’ll alt-tab in the middle of a sentence to do something completely different.  In any case, there is my excuse.

I thought I’d throw out a post about the grasshopper, as I was given a chance to work with them on Wednesday via Evology lab.  We were doing a study on population dynamics, and our task was to catch as many grasshoppers that we could in a set amount of time – mark them – and release them.,  We then took a small walk to allow them to disperse, then spent another 25 minutes catching them.  The idea was to see about how many there were in that given area by comparing the recapture data to the original data.

But catching grasshoppers is a skill which I never thought that I would have to acquire.  In order to see the grasshoppers, you can’t just look at the grass – you’ll never catch anything.  Instead, you fix on a point, and allow your peripheral vision to look. It is almost better for my eyes to be unfocused when looking for the damn insects.

Grasshoppers are a lot more adapted for their environment than I’d initially considered.  Their color is an obvious advantage, but the way they move is exactly what makes them so hard to catch.  They’re barely visible on a windy day when they leap, because they just move so quickly and immediately are back in hiding.

As I was out with my little net and anxious hopes that I wouldn’t quite fail at life with this ecology lab like I did with the last one(I was the last one to finish) – I began to contemplate how we see differently as we look for things.  It was an interesting thought – to notice that we do not have to ONLY adjust our eyes when we want to see the ‘supernatural’, but also the very natural.


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