LotsaLegs - 12 May 05


---but is it a millipede or a centipede?

Found in north-eastern New Jersey, USA, mid-May.

I was rooting out more of the garlic mustard that has taken over my few small bits of yard. I had my wrist camera along because I wanted some shots of the garlic mustard in all its tricksiness. I had Dandelion along because...well...I'm not allowed out without a keeper.

I weeded out several square yards of garlic mustard. As I did, I kept my eye out for a few particularly good specimens of the root to photograph---and, suddenly, I found, coiled to a root, this gorgeous critter.

millipede or centipede

Here's a sort of blowup of the critter itself from the same shot.

millipede or centipede-closeup

I never got to see it uncoil and walk. Because it came from under the leaf-mold, I had no idea how much sun it could survive, so I went for two quick shots and then I put the plant with the critter deep in the shady undergrowth.

(I also never know what the cats consider tasty. Sometimes they eat my subjects. That seems poor payment for having had a chance to see and photograph something this wonderful, so I try not to call too much attention to small, possibly tasty, subjects these days. Dandelion was already interested, and Dandelion is impulsive.)

It belatedly occurs to me that LotsaLegs looks remarkably tasty to me, like some kind of exotic shrimp or lobster, only smaller. Probably falls under my mom's heading of "You'd starve to death eating them," but I wonder if I should take it home to fry up with the garlic mustard tops...?


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  Real Janet Kagan

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