Life, Sex and Death at a Suburban Pond
It's all happening right here. All the important things in life occurring in a little self-contained microcosm of nature. The more I come here and just sit and quietly watch, the more I see. Everything is reduced to the basic essentials of life: food, reproduction and survival; anything else is superfluous. Survival seems to come in two strategies: hiding, and movement. Frogs remain statuesque and motionless, camouflaged in a layer of duckweed lying on the pond's still surface, and keenly aware of any motion-the slightest movement will often cause them to bolt, disappearing beneath the surface. Turtles too follow this strategy--it seems nearly impossible to approach a line of turtles sitting on a branch or rock without them bolting into the water. Dragonflies, however, take the opposite approach: constantly in motion, rapidly flitting from perch to perch, almost always on the move. The only ambition life holds here is to eat but not be eaten, and to live long enough to create a new generation.