Sunday 15 May 2011: Interacting with Invertebrates
About a month ago I wrote about a strange creature I saw in the garden, even though I didn't have a good photo of it. Early this morning I saw some again: thin threadlike organisms flinging themselves about on the leaves of the new hydrangea. Even though I spent a long time watching them, I don't know how it's possible to even see these tiny hairlike things, but once you pick up the movement out of the corner of your eye, they are impossible to ignore. There were two, and I wondered if they were aware of each other, or of me, or what, really, they were thinking. At one point they came very close to swinging onto the same leaf, and I held my breath, but then they diverged. They pretty much never stopped moving: undulating, stretching, searching, coiling, painting patterns in the air with their seemingly blind front ends. I tried two different cameras and endless combinations of aperture, time, flash/no flash, and ISO, and I'm still not pleased with the results. Heck of a time with the depth of field and trying to get a moving being in focus, but here you go because, sorry, it's the most interesting thing that's happened today!
Ive seen one reference describing a thunderworm that sounds pretty close: a parasite that becomes active after rain or dew and comes up from the soil to lay eggs on leaves. Also seen them called horsehair worms because they are as thin as a horsehair.
I find them fascinating one at a time, and only if I dont think about them too much. If I view them as dancers or painters I can watch them for hours, or until my knees give out.