Hunting the wolf
In summer’s forest.
Armed with hand lens,
Forceps, vials, eyes and field book.
Up. Down. Under rocks, leaves, rotten logs.
Behold! Scurry, pause, dash, dart.
Find that dark place.
All in eights: all is right.
Pedipalps and spinnerets; chelicerae and pedicel.
Chevrons? Eye shine? Perhaps a sac of treasures?
Pardosa, Trochosa, or Rabidosa?
Envisioning authors, keys, maps, habitus.
Line drawings come alive.
A marvelous wolf, hunted.
What a find! The Arachnophile’s delight!
Into the vial, destined for deep freeze.
Wait, think, imagine.
It is precious.
Not Tolkien’s monsters, or a reclusive terror.
It is Anansi, Charlotte, and Darwin’s gossamer.
Nature and natural.
History beyond our own.
Preserve? Conserve? Observe?
Catch, release, smile.
1) The Lycosidae are impressive spiders, and go by the common name of “wolf spiders”. Here are some facts about wolf spiders.
2) This was inspired by daydreaming. Winter can be long and I’ve been thinking a lot about summer field work, and collecting arachnids in a hot, humid forest. I’ve been thinking about observing, collecting, preserving specimens. Bringing specimens back to a lab isn’t always necessarily. Sometimes watching is enough.