Playing with layers of depth, density and texture, my thoughts keep returning to the Mariana Trench, that rift in the seabed – 10,996 meters down.  It lies in the Western Pacific, east of the Philippines.  This abstract image reminds me of a time at sea when sailing across the vast Pacific where distances to horizons stretch over vast plains of indigo blue.  The inky depths had an allure like no other, and the waves broke ice-white in pristine opalescence.  Oh! Sometimes I yearn to be on that ocean in it’s sea-blue colours,  feeling it’s textures and windsong moods.

WPC:  Layers.

Ben’s challenge this week …..  “share with us a layered image of your own. The topic is wide open, as long as you focus on the interplay of depth, density, and texture (or just choose one of these elements if you’d like). Strata of clouds, a shirt collar peeking through a sweater, a cross-section of an onion: you can keep your interpretation as literal or as figurative as you wish.”

The Road Taken: Ecosystem Engineers

Travelling through Sweden last summer, a back road through a forest took us through an unexpected landscape.  It looked as though a storm had cast it’s devastation striking down trees which lay hapzardly across a water course.  On closer inspection it turned out to be a piece of skillful engineering accomplished by a rather innocuous looking creature.  It was my first encounter with the extraordinary feats of a beaver family’s industrious accomplishments.

Their ability to physically alter habitats by cutting down trees, building dams, digging canals and building lodges has resulted in their recognition as ecosystem engineers.  The resulting change to the environment is far reaching, benefitting and altering the distribution and abundance of many organisms.

WPC: “The Road Taken”.

The Mystery of the Maggots and the Death’s Head Hawkmoth

Sometimes nature throws a bit of a curved ball with an unexpected outcome and here are my photos in response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Creepy.”

I love solving a good mystery and finding the clues to the puzzle.  Here in the garden I thought I’d tracked down the culprit of a rather large pupa.  We’d noticed severe pruning to our Cape Honeysuckle creeper and tracked down the efforts to one single huge caterpillar: a Death’s Head Hawkmoth caterpillar.   So when some weeks later we discovered a pupa in the soil we put two and two together and expected to have a moth chrysalis emerging.  Instead it was something more like that creepie movie “Alien”.  The pupae oriented to the top of the soil and moved with vigour…….and instead out popped a hundred maggots !!

It is most likely that a bluebottle fly parasitised the pupa laying it’s eggs within the transforming chrysalis.