With Halloween almost here, the excitement is palpable. Children are giddy with ideas about costumes and the anticipation of vast hauls of candy. Adults, whilst less excited, are still happy to participate. Especially in the pile of sweet treats that wind up on the kitchen table. Playing dress-up is fun no matter what age. Do you have a costume ready?
Pretending to be someone or something else is not simply an escape into another world. It is a means of self protection, a ruse to scare, to trap and then, there are those times when one inadvertently resembles a different subject. Despite all our human attempts to create costumes or reinvent ourselves, I firmly believe Nature is the master of disguise and intrigue. Butterfly wings patterned to resemble fierce, scary eyes, leaf hoppers looking like, well, leaves, bird calls that mislead predators, creatures that look like stones, animal furs designed to camouflage, flowers shaped to deceive pollinators, the list is endless. Detection, deception, duplicity and diversion are hallmarks of survival in the wild.
In the garden, I get such a thrill when I come across an object that looks like it is in costume by pure happenstance. In the spirit of Halloween, I submit a few such images. This week, lets set aside our lengthy to-do lists for a bit and join in the fun.
(c) 2013 Shobha Vanchiswar