EDIT: The above photo layout only seems to look like it should in my LJ theme, but oh well. Sorry LJ friends.
It’s been an interesting weekend for perspective in nature. Yesterday was a day trip out to the Blue Mountains, which revealed not only that there are an extraordinary number of antique shops along the Great Western Highway, but that there are massive, majestic valleys guarded by towering limestone cliffs in all sorts of unexpected places out there. After pondering my map I figured we’d have an easy hike and some decent views near Blackheath, and was startled to find a massive valley just off the main highway, completely hidden from view until you actually got to the edge of it. As the four of us carefully inched to the edge of a very scenic and very fatal drop, cameras snapping away, I couldn’t help but wonder at this world-class panorama of pure wilderness quietly tucked aside no more than an hour from the edge of a very large, bustling city.
Meantime this afternoon while trying to do some writing in the back yard, among the flies lazily buzzing among the bushes and the small, fast lizards that are constantly chasing each other among the gravel I noticed two fat bodies pacing back and forth on the cement, undulating patiently. They were rather large for standard caterpillars and had the odd habit of, when nearing each other in passing, rather than giving each other a wide berth would instead play a very slow game of chicken, scooting headlong towards each other. At first I thought they would lock into mortal combat and excitedly ran upstairs for my camera to capture the battle. Laying down on my stomach, I moved the camera in as they ignored me and defiantly marched towards the collision. But rather than fighting to the death once they reached each other, one just awkwardly crawled over the other, occasionally almost falling over and pausing to wave around in nearsighted confusion, like a larval Mr. Magoo. Deflated, I snapped a few shots and left them to their pacing and went back to my coffee. Looking them up later it turns out they were in fact larvae, disconcertingly of a type of wasp that I can only hope won’t start settling outside the kitchen.
However while I was on my stomach watching these two march around, I took a moment to appreciate just how rarely I get this perspective anymore. Looking around, I noticed everywhere there was something moving; even under the chair I had been sitting in, completely unnoticed before, a line of ants was struggling over the rocky moonscape of rough gravel, each one carrying a piece of something as big or bigger than itself that the colony was apparently systematically stripping apart. All these things that are usually at most a brief flash of movement became a busy city at rush hour, the world magnified from this perspective into towering skyscrapers and deep avenues. Everyday objects and surfaces were transformed into colossal landmarks and landscapes. Another hidden landscape right in my backyard.