Depending on where you live you may or may not be familiar with what we here call potato bugs. They look kind of like little armadillos and when you scare them they do indeed roll up into a tiny perfect ball. I remember playing with these by the hour when I was a kid.
You know how climatic conditions are such from year to year that one species of flora or fauna does exceedingly well? This year seems to be a very good year for the potato bug. Henceforth 2006 will be known as the year of the potato bug - pretty catchy yes? It seems to be everywhere I go. I've come upon "nests" of them for the first time in memory. It is horrible. Hundreds of babies all milling about in the same patch of rotting vegetation or leaves, sometimes just gathering together for no apparent reason... like yesterday when I was inspecting this fantastic climbing tree to see if my little fellow might be able to climb it and voila - big pile of them (translation - making sure no big icky bugs are lurking on it - since there is no chance in hell that I will get them off the child if they climb upon him. I am afraid of bugs. Mostly spiders - most people within a 1 km radius of the park found this out when the Daddy Longlegs climbed upon me at lunch - but I have interrupted myself so on I go...) I have this vision of them - tato bugses'- getting together and forming one - very large - potato bug that fully intends to take over the world. Or maybe it will shape itself like a man and wear a cape (like in that movie with the big cockroach things that could mimic man - was it called Mimic or something?Reeeeeee....). They creep me out. And my son LOVES them. Can't blame him really - kids like bugs and this one actually does tricks -- more or less.
In other nature observing type stories - went to feed the ducks yesterday and befriended one of the Canada Goose / White Goose hybrids. Pictured here...
Very gentle and ridiculously large bird. Fed it brown bread and told it Mother Goose stories all the while it waddled along behind me. Also noticed that turtles like bread... absolutely did not know this. Bizarre. Might mess up the evolutionary chain somewhat with that one.... next thing you know the painted turtles will be milling about having tea parties or something.