Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's Roly Poly Time

Tonight I committed to doing something productive for a change. So, I spent about four hours capturing this photo of a roly poly bug.

Roly poly is, according to the Interwebs, "the colloquial name for isopod crustaceans of the family Armadillidiidae, also known as 'pill bugs.'" Or as our cats call them, "creatures to torment and, probably, eat."

One of the things I find most fascinating about macro photography is you get this new appreciation for life, big and small. When you see that a roly poly bug has a face, it's hard to view them the same way. Ever again.

It's amazing how casually we extinguish lives during the daily course of our own. The line of ants we step on without another thought. The roly poly bug we let kids (or cats) poke and prod and often worse.

I'm as guilty of these acts as anyone. The other day, I killed a scorpion. But what's changed is that since doing macro photography of a scorpion (and other critters), I always, always think twice, and I am always conscious of my decision to end a life.

Because that scorpion has a face. And so does the roly poly and the ant and the roach and the spider. Some of those faces aren't the prettiest. But how many of us are? Do we want that to be the deciding factor as to whether we live or die? Our face. Our height. Our brain size?

All I'm saying is, tread softly. My new pal the roly poly would thank you if he had vocal cords. Definitely.


Jonderson said...

It's amazing how casually we extinguish lives during the daily course of our own.

Plenty of food for thought right there. I think the real reason it is done so casually is because to some degree the extermination of other living organisms is not only necessary for our own existence, but entirely unavoidable.

We can obviously not stop to consider them all without paralyzing ourselves into complete inaction, so we simply trivialize the importance of those smaller creatures so that we can move on with our lives productively.

-K- said...

Hey Jon, I was thinking about you the other day.

I think its not only killing animals that we look away from but how we treat the planet. I've known for mprobaly more than half my life that automobliles, plastic, water disposal you name it, takes a little nick out of the planet's health. And I've done virtually nothing to change things.