Conversations with kids and more

I talked with Strider this week about shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. (Although, I’m not sure he’d know what that refers to. I’ll have to ask him. I sure hope he didn’t get to the age of 31 and not know..although, PTSD has helped him lose quite a few memories.) We DID, however, cover a myriad of topics, some I thought others might find interesting.   

Strider often finds moths or creatures I’ve never seen and passes photos on to me. We were talking about night birds (moths) and I shared how a friend in Ohio had posted a photo on FB of a crazy looking insect that resembled a giant light brownish white T. While ‘Letterman’ from ‘The Electric Company’ would have loved this bug, I was startled. I’ve never seen one, I’ve read about them, and they are called a plume moth. Strider then said the Luna moths in VA are starting to be found now, they only live a short time and their deaths herald the end of summer. He mused how odd it was that this large green moth was considered uncommon and that he felt the scientific phrasing for uncommon just meant ‘hard to find’ until they end up on the ground. He also wondered how they survived before cities, he always finds them clinging to cement walls, where they blend in at night. I asked him if they were a prey insect and that was where we skewed off into another thought.

Luna moths are not, but many toxic or dangerous insects and plants are brightly colored. Ladybirds, foxglove, night shade, monarch butterflies, and the like. Others animals who are venomous, are camouflaged. (Granted, some of the latter are bright, but not as many as you’d think) In Eastern Oregon there are rattle snakes. They have a ‘warning’ system and yet you have no clue they are around til you run across one. Most reptiles blend in, they might be bright and colorful if they were on a plain surface, but how odd! Plus, why did God (I do have a belief in a Creator, there is too much on this earth to have come about just because) make those toxic insects so colorful? Is it like males in the animal kingdom only with poison? “See me! I’m gorgeous and deadly to eat, so there! Go and eat that bug you can barely see and need to work for. Don’t mind me, I’ll just sit here and laugh at you as you look.”

During our chat, a large bird flew over. It startled me and we discussed what it might have been. It was NOT an eagle, but we surmised it may have been an osprey. It was large, didn’t even glance at this lake, and was gone in a moment. We discussed chickadees and Strider felt they were not exactly annoying, but impudent. I laughed. (speaking of which, I should go put seed in the open feeder since it stopped raining) He also said robins were the oddest bird in the yard. When I asked why, he said they are so darn fat! I look at them as they are busy digging up grubs and wonder, ‘How in the hell can you even fly?’

We discussed writing and how (I was surprised by this, too) authors don’t write in their ‘own’ voice. They write in the voices of the authors they have read until they end up creating their personal style. Yet, authors often write character or story, few can do both well. I asked him to explain himself and he mentioned one of our favorite books, ‘The Subtle Knife’ by Phillip Pullman. This made a terrible movie because there was too much character and film focuses on story. Also why another incredibly favorite book made such terrible movies, ‘Starship Troopers’ by Heinlein. Philosophy is almost impossible to visualize. (both of those books are heavy on philosophy) For the former, when Pullman made it into a play, it took two days of full length theatre sitting to watch it! The Marvel movies, those had authors who wrote character and lines first and the built the story after. It worked for them (except for the STUPID movie about Carol Danvers). The discussion veered into how he wants to see if he can animate one of his stories he started when he was in the Army. A fellow soldier read it and said he could ‘see’ it, so Strider wants to try. He’s not going to draw with a computer program, though, and he’s skeptical of his skills. The poor kid is convinced he’s too old to learn new things or open himself up to other jobs. (Oh, to infuse our children with confidence..I wasn’t a very good mom, I’d be much better at it now!) We bounced into talking about how there are companies who have employees who spend hours searching blogs or youtube videos for copyright infringements so they can nail others for using them, thereby making thousands of dollars from others. Capitalism at its worst.

At that point, his dad called with the information I asked for on Friday. So, he said he’d send me a Luna moth photo and talk to me later.

Earlier, the Book Lady had stopped by with more boxes for me and brought something to my attention an opinion I felt was silly. The Book Lady picks rhubarb for a church food bank. She had been picking near me, but had an opportunity to pick closer to town. She said she was picking back out north again because the other place had rhubarb of the wrong color. Apparently, people prefer red skinned stalks instead of green!! If you close your eyes and add enough sugar, it all tastes the same!!! (except the leaves, which are toxic…..) This is exactly what is wrong in our world.

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