Struggle for Existence on Goat Mountain

Hundreds of baby spiders scramble in a mass like schooling fish, most will die before they even approach adulthood. A great southern white flaps itself to exhaustion and its wings to tatters while caught in a web. Tiny butterfly eggs are laid at the ends of delicate stalks for their protection. A plant is deformed by tumor-like growths. Ants guard aphids in exchange for their sweet excretions. The struggle for existence carries on at Goat Mountain.

In other news, I finished the best travel book of all time, The Voyage of the Beagle and I’m reading On the Origin of Species which continually amazes me, particularly when I remember that Darwin knew basically nothing about the mechanics that make his theory possible. Genetics? Carbon dating of fossils? Darwin unlocked the most important mystery of biology during a time when folks thought miasma caused tropical diseases.

In addition to the usual suspects (goat skulls, hairstreaks, etc.) I also spotted a new (to me) butterfly, the Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus), and after some considerable stalking was able to get a couple photos good enough to make the ID, but certainly not worth framing.

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