I never have a dull visit to the Falls of the Ohio. Each time I come out here I can expect an adventure of one type or another. On this day the river had noticeably receded and this large boulder of Styrofoam that I had been watching for days as it floated out here was finally on the shore. I tried to move it, but it was so waterlogged and heavy that I gave up…for now. All around it were Styro-bits that were ground off by abrading against logs and the sandy bottom.
Near my polystyrene giant was this section of the riverbank. It’s the aftermath of a tug of war we are engaging in with the planet. In this type of struggle there are no winners. Recent images from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico come to mind which incredibly still flows unabated weeks later. Since much of the garbage in this photo is derived from petrochemicals, I wonder if this also could qualify as an oil spill? If I scooped up a handful of sand around here…I would see tiny bits of plastic and the ever-present polystyrene bead. This stuff is likely to never go away. But life does try to keep carrying on as it always has. I also came across this interesting beetle and a smile returned to my face.
I have seen these out here before. It’s an Eastern Eyed Click Beetle and I think I read somewhere that this is our largest click beetle. If you placed this beetle on its back, it would flip right side up with an audible “click”. Hence click beetle. There are other species, but they are all smaller. This one is just under two inches (about five centimeters). It’s coloration is similar to a bird dropping, but it also has these dramatic eyes on its pronotum. These guys do fly, but most of their lives are spent as larvae living in decayed wood. I passed by the mulberry tree with its ripening berries and there are birds who just can’t resist this plentiful food source.
Among the bird species eating fruit from this tree included this Blue Jay…
…and this Catbird which does make odd sounds which sometimes sound like the mewing of a cat (hence catbird!). They can be quite territorial to their own and other species too.
Not too far from this tree, I could hear some squabbling going on and I moved towards the sound. You can imagine my surprise when I came upon this scene! I stayed hidden behind a large willow and just observed.
There were these two little figures and one of them was tugging on a rope attached to a plastic gasoline container and his “friend” with the wierd hairdo was jumping up and down on one leg trying to get him to stop!
The figure with the rope eventually succeeded in knocking the container over while his friend continued hopping! What he thought he was going to do with this gas can is a mystery? He soon grew frustrated with his efforts and a shouting match between the two began. That deteriorated into another contest where each tried to take the rope from the other.
All this effort must have been exhausting because after a little while they gave up and abandoned the rope and the gas can leaving them lying on the sand. They reconciled and walked away from here hand in hand.
Perhaps they realized the futility of their struggle and came to their senses? Perhaps they recognized that it was better to conserve their energies for more constructive pursuits? Who knows, but while I pondered these questions I came across another image of futility and I will leave you with that until next time.