Friday, May 23, 2014

Hidden Life

Although it's been a very busy week, I've been thinking about what is seen and what is unseen in our daily life. It started with finding this guy upon my arrival home from Brooklyn:

 H & 13th NE - May 20, 2014

I almost stepped on him, but luckily I didn't. Although he did make me shudder a little bit, mostly I was just impressed.  I had no idea slugs that large even existed on the East Coast. Where I'm from, we have snails and slugs but they top out at a few centimeters. Here's a metro card for scale. 

H & 13th NE -- May 20, 2014

I was less excited when I found that slugs had been making their way up to my second-floor balcony garden. Maybe this had been going on for a while, and I had never noticed, but knowing that there were slugs around made me look a little harder for evidence of them. The next morning, I found that my Johnny Jump-up seedlings had been slimed. 

Vicar's "Garden" -- May 21, 2014

There are other things that exist at night in the alley that ordinarily go unseen. Husband and I once saw a raccoon, nonchalantly walking the top of the fence, all the way down the alley. I've spotted a possum under a car -- I thought it was a cat at first. Definitely not a cat. There are at least two cats back there, big roaming tom cats, who work at catching the rats that scurry, and now and then people, looking for a late-night place to tryst, to fight, or (sadly) to shoot up. 

What I've seen, I'm sure, is just a sliver of what actually happens around me in my neighborhood. I just found an entire species that I didn't know existed here. How much more is hidden?

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