In response to the recent post about "the Lobster" I wanted to share a lovely poem by Galway Kinnell called "The Fly."
I've just brushed
off my face keeps buzzing
about me, flesh-
starved for the soul.
One day I may learn to suffer
his mizzling, sporadic stroll over eyelid or cheek,
even hear my own singing
in his burnt song.
The bee is the fleur-de-lys in the flesh.
She has a tuft of the sun on her back.
She brings sexual love to the narcissus flower.
She sings of fulfillment only
and stings and dies, and
everything she ever touches
is opening, opening.
And yet we say our last goodbye
to the fly last,
the flesh-fly last,
the absolute last,
the naked dirty reality of him last.
This article is about the ethics of eating lobsters. I figured it could be interesting to read this exploration of eating a kind of arthropod, especially with all the talk of entomophagy in class. It questions what we actually mean when we talk about pain and "putting something out of its suffering". Plus, I take every opportunity to make people read David Foster Wallace.
My favorite line: "There is, after all, a difference between (1) pain as a purely
neurological event, and (2) actual suffering, which seems crucially to
involve an emotional component, an awareness of pain as unpleasant, as
something to fear/dislike/want to avoid."
We've been talking about the process of the pupa in completely metamorphic (holometaboluos insects), the final act being the molt out of the pupal case when the adult emerges in its final form - this last molt is called "eclosion"
Now a study claims a large number of pale blue butterflies in Japan that fail to properly eclose and show a range of other deformities is likely due to mutational changes caused by the radiation which leaked from the Fukushima Dainichi plant in 2011.
This finding are reminiscent of artist Cornelia Hesse-Hoenegger's claims that many mutant insects can also be found in Europe due to radiation exposure from the Chernoyll nuclear power plant accident in the 1980's.
Her beautiful and haunting illustrations of these mutant insects provide a complement to this more recent research - take a look at some HERE.
I went on my first insect collecting trip, finally!!! We went to Montrose beach and caught a lot of grasshoppers. I am hoping to go to the trip off of Rosemont to collect some mantes. I've often encountered huge beetles and mantes in my backyard back at home, so I'm anticipating this last insect collecting trip. While thinking about it I remembered this funny guy on Youtube who makes short factual videos about animals, and he did have one about the Praying Mantis.
It's definitely not his funniest one, but I found it comical and relevant to this class. He also has some on dung beetles, and other arthropods! Cheers, Casey
In today's bug hunting trip, I caught enough grasshoppers and crickets to make a meal.
Since hearing that large scale entomophagy has potential as a more environmentally efficient of protein then animal live stock, ive been fascinated with a future with beetle burgers, fly fritters, and peanut butterfly jelly sandwiches.
I decided to cook them chapuline style, a dish common in parts of Mexico. while cooking the crickets I found the process to be kind of diabolical, before reading anymore be warned it may seem kind of nasty.
First I made sure I had all my ingredients
Then I put the crickets in the fridge for an hour, the cold slows their metabolism and makes them sluggish. They are a lot easier to handle this way. The other advantage to this method is it does not kill them. After a cricket dies funk sets in quickly, making them too rotten to eat. Like lobster, it is best to cook them alive. This made sense to me because both species are arthropods.
so into the pot they go
They need to cook in boiling water for one or two minuets, until they turn red
like Lobster. After they are cooked, drain them...
pull their legs and wings off...
and fry them in a sauce pan tablespoon of canola oil on medium heat
I added garlic and lime juice after three minutes and turned it down to a simmer
When they were done, made them into taco
added the fixings....
and chowed down
the one that got away
If you have read this far then maybe you are interested in eating insects too. They were tasty, especially in a taco. the bigger grasshoppers I tended to like more because they were meatier. I wish I used more oil to fry them in so they could have been cruncher. It was an overall good eating experience, this experience has taught me that I would love to live in a world of mass entomophagy. I'll probably eat more bugs when I get the chance. If I catch enough next week, I'm going try chocolate covered crickets.
The Chicago Tribune had a little article the other day about "Pests of the Season" - the highlighted critter? Yellowjackets. For those of you who went collecting with us the other day, you'll remember we found a colony nesting in the ground under a tree.
Here is a quote that piqued my curiosity though: "If they're on the home or on the premises, there's a possibility you may have a child or a resident who may be allergic," says Tom Dobrinska, a board-certified entomologist and training director with Elmhurst, Illinois-based Anderson Pest Solutions. "If they get stung, you're talking about possible anaphylactic shock or even death."
Please help me parse the logic of the claim made above: If you have wasps around your home, then you could be allergic? Are the presence of wasps something that makes an allergic person more likely? hmmm... sounds like a great way to seel some bug spray...
Recently we removed a wasp nest from home and instead of throwing it away I decided to preserve it.
It is about 3 1/2" in diameter. The nest is made of layers of paper like material. There is a caterpillar inside too, stored food for later use?
Inside are cells
The top one is the worker. Down below are two bigger wasps from the same nest. One is the queen, and the other one I am not sure. Male?