Just a few photographs from my March trip to the Galapagos. Images are pulled from my Instagram feed, so just click on them to read captions (or mouse over for a pop-up). I only had a few seconds to take many of these shots because the tour I was on was the regular “forced march” variety, and you’re required to stay in sight of the guide. Would love to go back for a more leisurely visit. E.g., staying for a whole year. But if it’s for a shorter time I hope my guide has severely impaired mobility so that I’ll be able to take my time. I’ll be posting more pictures in the coming weeks, so follow me on Instagram if you’re a Galapagos fan.
When it’s too hot to take photographs outside, I can always go down to my basement to photograph camel crickets (“sprickets” to many). I know, lucky me. But if you have a moist basement, you probably have them, too. The ones below are the introduced species (I think), Diestrammena asynamora, from Asia. They drive me nuts. So much so that I wasted time collecting ways to get rid of them (see my page, “Getting rid of camel crickets“, if you’re interested). The list is not 100% effective, as photographs attest, but at least I don’t have thousands of them anymore.
After agonizing over the identification of hornworm larvae for years, I’ve developed two tricks that I’d like to share. Tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) caterpillars have stripes (seven of them), so remember that by thinking of Lucky Strikes cigarettes. Horn is usually red or red-tipped, like a cigarette. Also, tobacco gives you dark teeth and lungs … and tobacco hornworms have black shadows on their stripes. Tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata) have eight chevrons (Vs), which you can remember by thinking of V8 juice, which is primarily tomato juice. Here’s the graphic you can share with friends who might have it wrong:
If you can, please spread the word … most of the tens of thousands of tobacco hornworm photographs on the internet are misidentified as tomato hornworms. Even Wikipedia page for tomato hornworm shows tobacco hornworm larvae (I’m working on it …). The problem is that tobacco hornworm eats tomatoes, and people with fancy cameras grow a lot of tomatoes.
Photograph of tomato hornworm from Amanda Hill.
When I first saw these two damselflies from afar I assumed they were mating (en flagrante delicto), but upon closer examination, they weren’t (more en flagrante delicio). Damselfly on the left is probably in the genus Enallagma, but I’m happy to be corrected if you disagree. I’m also unsure of what who the dinner is. Photographed at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Tinicum, Pennsylvania.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most adaptable to change.”
This quote (and hundreds of mutant kin) is often attributed to the naturalist Charles Darwin, but he said no such thing (see a recent post on the true source). The mistake is everywhere: in coffee table books, in natural history museums, and even in the gift shop of the Charles Darwin Foundation (photo shown here is from their Twitter feed — click to enlarge).
This misattribution is, of course, annoying to people who admire Charles Darwin and his actual writing (he wrote ~25 books, and thousands of letters). So to fight this, I thought I’d make a few slides that might eventually get included in Google search results, and thus available to people who want to use the quote in their business management slide decks. I made three versions. Please use these slides if you are able. Share them on Twitter. Etc. Every bit helps.
The first version features a marine iguana with its mouth open, as if it was saying something. Darwin and others described these beasts as stupid looking, but the species are adapted to the islands in a rather spectacular way — individuals evolved to swim underwater and eat algae — so it’s a rather good image to use for the quote. The second is a photograph of Charles Darwin, perfect for people who like the quote but really need a photograph of the chap who clearly inspired Megginson. The third slide is a photograph of Leon C. Megginson himself. He was a professor of business management in Louisiana. Download any of the slides by clicking on the thumbnails, then save.
As proof of why we need to get the word out, please see Twitter feed below, updated to show recent Tweets that contain the quote. The phrase is especially adored by nutritionist bloggers, consultants, and business folks who spew inspirational quotes. It would be great if those quotes credited Dr Megginson.
And here’s a quote I dreamed up to explain what is going on:
“It is not the strongest of the sentences that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that sounds most like Darwin.”