Photo Essay


Can you see me now?

Life is hard. Try to keep a low profile and it just doesn't work. We humans stand out like proverbial sore thumbs, proud of our individuality.

But imagine if you were a bug, or a very small animal.

JPG Magazine has a current theme called "Ant's Eye View". Think about it. It's a scary world, looking up and over your shoulder if you're teeny tiny, walking through grains of sand, creeping through grass stem jungles, crawling stealthily under leaves, sitting still protecting eggs among the flowers hoping to blend in, running for cover if something big casts a shadow and all you want to do is grab a meal, chew your leaf, take a snooze under a flower head and survive.

Mother Nature, in her great wisdom, has endowed her children with unique colors, geometry,articulation and species specific survival tools. Some we have come to call "camouflage". When Kermit the Frog sang "It's Not Easy Being Green", he should've thanked Mother Nature, instead. (I really liked that song though, Kermit.)

She gave eyespots to beetles, butterflies and moths, a combination of geometry and articulation to imitate sticks for the phasmids (walking sticks) and crane flies and put stinging harpoons on caterpillars or colors that blend into the background In nature, bright colors, especially red, means WARNING! DON'T EAT ME!. The "red flag" means poison if ingested. But some insects just flaunt an imitation to keep safe, which is more like mimicking than true camouflage. Be a leaf. Be a fecal dropping. Be a twig. Be bark. Glue petals or tiny bits of sticks to your back. Change your color to match what you're on. To some creatures, she gave the trick of stillness, like Bitterns.

Here is a collection of small creatures, beautifully and truly camouflaged against the threat of predators. Many of them are green. I hope you enjoy them.

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—The JPG team

7 responses

  • Hannah DeYoung

    Hannah DeYoung gave props (21 Oct 2008):

    great job

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (22 Oct 2008):

    Oh yeah! It rocks!

  • Michael Adams

    Michael Adams gave props (22 Oct 2008):

    Wonderfully put!

  • Dhanny P

    Dhanny P (Deleted) gave props (24 Oct 2008):

    May, what a wonderful story and pics....

  • d s

    d s gave props (25 Oct 2008):

    wonderful series!!

  • Michael Diamond

    Michael Diamond said (31 Oct 2008):

    Wonderful new perspective in this story,makes me look at the lawn now in a different way.

  • Jim Theriault

    Jim Theriault gave props (13 Nov 2008):

    very well written and great images too.....

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