A few words about nature
I don’t want to get into a great philosophical discussion about this, but the natural world confuses me. It’s not the colors because I like those, so I’ve decided they can stay. That’s pretty nice of me, I think. It’s not that different trees have different leaves. If they all did, how could I know which trees to curse when all those maple spinners show up in my yard? That is one thing the oak tree next door is not guilty of. Of course, it does put out way too many acorns which attract the squirrels, and I hate squirrels. So, I guess I should be cursing the oak just as well. Therefore, it’s a good thing they have different leaves. That way, I know which tree I am hating at the right time. It all works out.
What bothers me is the diversity. In school, when I was paying attention, I learned that smaller creatures need to hide to survive. I get that. I don’t want some big bird pouncing on me and biting my head off. Especially that one called Big Bird from Sesame Street. I mean that would ruin my whole childhood. Therefore, the rule in nature is that hiding is a good thing. Frogs, lizards, bugs, and rocks all hide to continue existing. Rocks do this especially well, right now I can’t think of any major predators for rocks. Although, I was never a good student, so I’m sure there must be some.
The Frog in the ointment
However, “Au Contraire” as the French speakers would say. We have the Poison Arrow Frog of Central America. They do not hide. They cruise out in to the sun and say look at me, but don’t attack me, because I’m poison. What I wannna know is, how do all the other creatures know that? Why do they casually munch-and-crunch colorful birds at will but when they see a bright frog they know to stay away. Was there a conference between the North Wind, Mother Nature and Father Time? Did they all agree to make bright things deadly only if they sat on the ground? Then sent out a memo to all the hawks saying they could eat birds and flowers but not bright frogs and lizards. Frankly I never knew a hawk who knew how to read memos. Then I have to ask, what did the hawk union think of this? Were there negotiations between management and labor? Was it put to a vote? I hope you can see why this is all so very perplexing.
Then again, the process could have been a lot more trial and error. You hear of alpha and beta wolves all the time. So why couldn’t it be the same with those hawks. The alpha hawks go hunting, see a bright red frog, and question whether it’s edible. They just call over Bob. “Hey Bob, go eat that.” Bob’s just a beta so who cares what happens. If Bob lives it’s all good. If Bob croaks, they write it down by putting scratches on a rock, or piece of parchment. You don’t believe that? I’ve seen the Rosetta Stone, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Those marks sure look like bird scratches to me.
The Butterfly Reflect
I recently went to a lecture at my local library and the speaker was talking about these subjects. The thing he stressed was mimicry. He said and I’m paraphrasing here, “In nature bright colors mean stay away. Birds know that the bright orange Monarch butterfly is poison, but the Viceroy butterfly tastes great. Therefore, the Viceroy evolved a similar color scheme and stays around the Monarchs to avoid getting eaten.” I have so many questions about this. First both butterflies are orange. So, it’s not true that bright colors mean stay away. In the Viceroy’s case the orange is more like a neon sign advertising a great lunch. This is only my first problem.
Monarchs are bigger and less erratic than those silly Viceroys, who have to come across like some whiney little brother. When one tries to hang out with the cooler Monarch, it’s must come out something like this. “C’mon guys, can I just hang with you for a little while. There are birds and everything man. Just till we get to the woods. I promise I won’t ask again for a whole day. If you don’t, I’ll tell mom you’ve been sipping nectar from the marijuana buds again. Please.”
Of course, the Monarchs, have to be cool, and annoyed about it. “All right, this time. However, I know where there’s a nest of blue jays who would be more than happy to ‘accidently’ happen into the tree where you sleep at night. So, it better not happen again.” Boy, nature can be tough.
Then again, the lecturer said the Viceroy evolved a similar color. I would like to have been around for that meeting. Can’t you just see all these butterflies sitting around at a bar drinking daffodil whiskey and grumbling about how many of them are being eaten. Just about the time they all raise a glass to their fallen comrade, Elroy Prettywings, the victim of a Scarlet Tanager attack. Murray Metamorphic, the grumbler of the group, starts in again about how those stupid Monarchs never get eaten, and even when they do, they poison the freaking bird. “I wish I could take a bird with me on the way out,” cries Murray as takes another drink and sloshes whiskey down his front.
About then I figure a damselfly waitress would probably stop by, and say something cheeky like, “If you think your life is unfair, just evolve into being a Monarch,” as she picked up the glasses and sashayed, and giggled her way back to the bar. Of course, those drunken idiots took her words to heart. They undoubtedly made the decision right there and spent the next thousand years working on that very project. Guys are stupid like that. Females would have just continued to hide, and let it go.
Parenting is even harder in the animal kingdom
Then there’s the green leaf bug. If the decision to evolve into that species wasn’t made by a teenager, I’ll eat my hat. I’ve been to places where teens hang out, and with all the tattoos and piercings it seems they all just want to look different. I can imagine two normal looking parent bugs talking to their daughter about high school. The daughter bug must have gone ballistic and screamed, “That’s it! I am not conforming to your silly rules any more. I’m dressing like a leaf, and you can’t stop me.” Well, she went to school, the fashion caught on, and the rest is history. Sadly, that’s not true evolution. That’s just bad parenting skills.
Nobody pays attention to the laws anymore
Then there’s that whole food chain thing. Plants grow on decayed matter, small animals eat plants and bugs, big animals eat small animals, then they die and become decayed matter. It all works. Of course, plants never eat animals. That would be ludicrous. Nope!! There are at least a hundred species of plants that eat bugs. There are also several species of spiders that eat birds and mice. Where are these so-called laws of nature?
I’m so confused!
Thank you for laughing and Please read a little longer
Thank you all for laughing with me, but I need to be serious. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disease which rots the liver and lungs. There is no cure. The only help for people is to have a weekly infusion of proteins to stop the spread. For the next few months I will be taking all my proceeds and donating them to the Alpha-1 Foundation who are searching for a cure to this horrible malady. You can give here or for more information go to Alpha-1.org Thanks for supporting world laughter, and finding a cure. Laugh On