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Did I Just Witness Something Remarkable, Or….?

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posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 10:30 AM
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My relationship with the natural world is always changing.

As a child, I heartily loved life, nature, and all creatures big and small. I had a strong sense of responsibility toward other life forms, made it a point to not intentionally harm any living thing, however small, even to the point where watching someone kill an insect would pain me.

Growing up, I had an appreciation for the beauty of nature but knew very little of her wanton destructive power. Life has since shown me that Mother Nature can be brutal, but I also noted that more often than not, she nurtures us with a teeming abundance that we rarely notice until we see signs of dearth.

At some unknown point in life, I lost some of my childhood compassion. Killing bugs no longer pained me, to the point that I could casually smash an insect with no real regard (an act which would have horrified my childhood self). The daily news continued dulling my senses to the sanctity of life, and to our irrevocable interconnectedness. Have you sensed it as well?

But something happened yesterday that is making me reevaluate my relationship to other living creatures, and an unlikely affinity was forged.

This:

is a roly poly, aka pill bug, aka Armadillidium vulgare. Not the most heartwarming creature to look at, I know.

I was going about my duties as a gardener yesterday, one of which is to clear my garden of these pests. They are not terribly destructive to plants (decomposers) BUT have been known to make a meal of my brand new green bean and pea seedlings and have therefore earned their way into my enemy list.

I’ve noticed that they seem to know when there’s been a disturbance, when one of their own is being threatened. Once I start picking them out of the garden (I usually toss them over the fence) I see the others start to scramble. This was interesting to me, and slightly disquieting (that I was wrecking a roly poly family) but not enough of a deterrent in regard to keeping my garden free of pests.

Then I picked up a big one and noticed something was off, something was inside this one… it had rolled itself up around a baby!
I set it down, amazed, suddenly feeling like an invading soldier facing down a cowering family. It started to crawl away, holding the baby in its back legs to carry it to safety, wrapping up again around it again. In time the bigger insect unrolled and found a dark hiding spot, as did the small one.

Still observing. I see a large roly poly (same one? I had lost track) lumbering over the dirt (the others were hidden) and encase ANOTHER baby.

Now I’m convinced I’m seeing something remarkable. My heart is changed. I have no enmity toward these creatures anymore. I (think I even verbalized this- I know I’m weird) conveyed to the creature that I wouldn’t harm them anymore and it unrolled immediately, revealing the protected baby, and started scurrying across the dirt, pausing here and there. Where the bug stopped, the dirt would start to move, and the babies emerged from hiding.

Now I really don’t know how I plan to go about keeping my garden free of pests.




posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 10:36 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

I like your kind of weird.
It is a problem, seeing the protectiveness and ties the insects have to one another but when they are too thick everything else suffers. I guess they are a lot like us.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: zosimov


What a sweet story! Google what they eat, and make them a safe little garden of their own.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:05 AM
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Totally the conundrum of the gardener!!!

Was weeding last year and startled a mama wolf spider with like a million babies on her back. No matter how I tried to gently shift her off she kept claiming a tiny piece of ground!!
Right where I needed to be working!

I dunno? did she drop a couple?
How would she know?

Still it was hilarious! And adorable, and pretty brave.
We miss so much by not ever observing our own little microcosms.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:06 AM
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That was F#ing beautiful. I am glad to share this reality with souls like you. You bring a wonderful color to this world.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

We call them Wood Lice in the UK and they are undoubtedly gentle and prehistoric. I've never knowingly killed one but I can identify with your thoughts about becoming numb to the guilt of killing insects in my adult years.

Things I will knowingly kill without guilt now are Mosquitoes, Gnats and maybe Ants if they are invading. That's pretty much it.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:10 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

I think you just tapped into the force.

I was a cruel child-I used to stir up ant nests and I could smell the pheromones they emitted-it was like a call to arms. That got me interested in bugs and reptiles-now I will only kill an insect if it can kill me.

Pepper spray or Pepper plants are a good deterrent; very few bugs like peppers except ladybugs-they love them for some reason and surprisingly they are not a leaf munching pest and help make a great living ornament.
edit on 9-6-2018 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:13 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

Excellent post and beautifully written my friend.

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!


edit on 9-6-2018 by knowledgehunter0986 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: Thecakeisalie

Ladybirds eat Aphids and Blackfly. Extremely good for your garden.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:19 AM
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What a beautiful and sensitive read. I tried, I really did, to see it from your point of view; which was so interesting.

I hate bugs-especially if I'm trying to plant flowers. But, you have made me think about it all-the circle of life. Which is a tough place let's admit it.

But, still, thank you for that small, insightful incidence and eye-opening experience that you cared to share. I was touched.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:20 AM
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Friends, I have to step out for a while but had to post quickly to thank every one of you for your really lovely and thoughtful replies. It's really incredible to me how certain subjects always brings out that deep wisdom and goodness that's in our nature.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!!!




posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

I have a really sad sad story similar to that myself. I was driving through the canyon at about 55 miles an hour and up ahead of me I see some birds in the road. As I'm getting closer the mom and the dad bird scoot off to the side of the road but the baby bird just walks around in circles not knowing what to do. There was nothing I could do I was too close and moving too fast and I rode right over the top of the baby bird. Not with my tires mind you but just the wind of my car must have done something to it because I felt so bad seeing this I stopped and turned around and went back and I saw that the mom and the dad were frantically searching and searching and searching for their baby and they couldn't find it and I felt so bad for them.

Jaden



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:30 AM
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a reply to: zosimov
Thank you for any compassion you show them. I believe every life form is GOD and I walk through my yard with the intention to do the ants no harm....



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:30 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

Oh dear, your OP reminded me of something I'd long ago forgotten. When I was about ten or so our garden wall had a long hole in it and woodlice/rolypolys lived in there. I took a fire poker and squished them all to death. It twinges my conscience thinking about it and especially as I 'pride' myself on never killing anything unless it's necessary.

I'm growing chili plants so greenflies are getting sprayed. There are exceptions and the rest of life on this planet is safe



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:56 AM
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You just released a large cannibal rolly polly back to unleash hell on the babies. They were probably cheering for you, screaming your name as the savior, and now he's back!
On a side note, my home has been invaded by them the last few weeks. I've never seen this many before. hundreds upon hundreds of them dead all over the floors (not by my hand,, cool your jets). They come in at night and just croak.
But i have found their lair!



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 12:00 PM
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a reply to: Caver78

I always tell spiders to move, I won't hurt them and that I didn't hurt the last one I asked to move.

They listen and obey.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: zosimov


A lovely experience Zos and you explained it eloquently.



Now I really don’t know how I plan to go about keeping my garden free of pests.


I am sure someone with your observational prowess will figure it out.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 12:16 PM
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Anecdote time:

Senior year of high school. Chillin with awesome girl I met in environmental science. We hike out to the middle of nowhere and happen upon a small footbridge over a fairly large spring. We sit, talk, enjoy the nature.

Time becomes irrelevant. Sun goes down, darkness is quickly upon us. We stand up, decide to head back. Looking back at the small footpath we came in on, lights begin to flicker. First dozens, then hundreds, thousands, millions. As far as the eye could see there was bioluminescence. I pick up one of these lights to further inspect. It's a small pill bug looking critter.

Realising the trip back would result in squashing thousands of lives, we decide to spend the night at the foot of that small bridge, overlooking nature's many miracles. A memory that will remain till the day I die.

We often overlook the small things in life. The older we get, the more this becomes true. Everything on this rock has a meaning and purpose. It's mesmerising, beautiful and absolutely effing awesome.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 12:26 PM
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originally posted by: NarcolepticBuddha
a reply to: Caver78

I always tell spiders to move, I won't hurt them and that I didn't hurt the last one I asked to move.

They listen and obey.



Seriously?



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 12:26 PM
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This kind of thing always has been there, we just are conditioned by others and us ourselves to ignore it.

I had two deer flies land on my hand one day, a big one and oposing it a small youth. They were jesturing towards each other and the bigger one was teaching the little one something, the older one was moving it's head side to side and the little one was mimicing what it saw. Then it happened, the older one swung down with that side motion and cut my skin and blood gushed out and they both started to feast wildly drinking it. I was shocked and swished them off forcefully away from the cut it had created which probably killed both. I went to research the net and found they have a jaw that cuts when they move it sideways cutting a half inch gash into my skin. Cool, I killed a teacher and student, I am one of those school killers I guess.




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