Bugs of New Mexico by the DH
John's still writing! Yipee!! to Judy, the flamingo's stick has been ailing lately and John hasn't decided how to fix it yet, soon he should be back up, that would be cool if the aliens visited him. Now for the real post:
One of the local trails here has numbered posts along the route with a guide that explains something about whatever it is you’re looking at. In this case, what you’re looking at is a concrete impression of what various local animal tracks would look like if that animal had stepped in wet concrete. (Just to be thorough, the first station was for a barefoot human although you would have to be demented to be walking through the scrub without shoes. Thick soled hiking boots would be best.) We never saw tracks of anything other than in the concrete patches, but we did see a jackrabbit. And some bugs.
I was washing the rig today and got to wondering if it might be possible to identify bugs by the splatter pattern they leave. They’re not as consistent as animal tracks, but you might be able to puzzle out some characteristics of the deceased bug, depending on the speed of impact and the surface it met. The bugs that managed to hit the cooling fins behind the truck grill are easy, since most of the bug is still there. This bug population should be representative of what hit the truck grill and the front of the rig so we have a shopping list of bugs to match to their splatter patterns along with a rough frequency of occurrence.
Most of the bugs are nat size and just leave a single splat about the size of the original bug. No way to tell how many of them were those really annoying biting ones, but good riddance. The larger ones include dragonflies and butterflies, with about twice as many dragonflies as butterflies. The wings and stuff are gone, so it’s hard to tell what’s what but I’m guessing the dragonflies make the bigger mess. Also, there’s at least one bug that doesn’t just spread out on the gel coat; it seems to bond with it.
I didn’t see many grasshoppers behind the grill, but they’re all over the campground so I’m thinking they just don’t stick to the cooling fins as well as some bugs. Also, some of the bugs were from Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma so I’m not even sure which ones are from New Mexico. But I’m sure New Mexico has mosquitos. And flies.
|View from the visitors center Carlsbad Caverns|