On my drive into Quincy each day as I return from teaching at the college or exploring the forest for interesting creatures, I can't help but juxtapose images that float through my mind. Today, I was reminded of an incident on a nature hike I was leading a week ago. One never knows what insects will show themselves on any given day, so I was introducing my companions to the great fragrances given off by certain plants. The first, on the Tollgate Creek Trail, was Pennyroyal. Before they bloom, they are (to most people) a fairly non-descript little plant that blends in with other green vegetation. I ask people to grab a handful of leaves and take a whiff. The fragrance of Pennyroyal never fails to delight. Now that I have their attention, I lead my guests to a patch of Mugwort. Another patch of non-descript greens at the side of the trail, Mugwort is in the same genus as Sagebrush, Artemesia. As we approached, I was silently reminiscing on a visit to this same spot a couple of years ago when I took the above photo of a pair of Western Bloodsucking Conenose's mating! I didn't mention this because I thought there was no chance I'd see them again. But I did! Another pair, mating. Of course, no one believes this is their real name. So, today, when I saw the political sign that says "He's one of us" I got viscerally uncomfortable. The presumptuous statement is offensive to me. There's no way I am part of the particular "us" he's referring to. So, I wish the great name, Bloodsucking Conenose, hadn't already been assigned to this neat bug by entomologists.
So, on the four-month anniversary of the last post on this blog, I share my scrambled thoughts about a bloodsucking congressman and a beautiful bug.