Monday, October 19, 2009
on desert experiences when off work.
The other day, I had a very interesting time in the Mojave desert. I was attending a dance party in the far out desert, and decided to walk to a crag of rocks far off in the distance. When I got there, I found a pile of old rocks in the crag. Now, many of you may not know this, but in the ancient times, men used to carve rocks with faces and stories, and deposit them at certain locations. It turns out, this crag was one of them. I picked up one rock, and found delicately etched into it a mayan face, complete with an earring. Another, I found a seal. I found one rock, covered with dust, and withdrew it from the pile. I wiped the dust away to find the image of a frightening creature (which I will someday transmute into a figure in my cartoons) looking like he was crawling out of the dirt. I imagined a whole story of the creature attacking a sleeping bear (which was cleverly etched above the image). I decided that I had to replace the stone exactly as I had found it, but, when i looked, I couldn't find any dirt in the pile! How had the monster on the stone gotten covered with dirt when there was no dirt amongst the rocks? Then it hit me: the creator of the rock had gone down off the crag, gotten some dirt, and poured it on the rock long ago. So, I did the same thing. I went down to a snake hole and found some fine dust, brought it back to the crag and, while thanking the original sculptor, I poured the dust onto the 1.5 inch rock in the middle of nowhere in the desert and thanked the Great Spirit (or God or whatever) for creating the earth, the rock, the dust and myself to honor this ancient art piece.
Afterwards, I was walking back to the dance party, when I espied some movement on the ground. It was an ant colony. Then, low and behold, I saw a beetle, about the size of two adult thumbnails, digging with the same motions a dog would into the pile around the anthill, obviously either eating something, or getting moisture. I saw that many of the ants were carrying tiny little twigs into the hole. I began to impute personalities to the little creatures, when, suddenly, a tiny desert spider leapt out of the ground and snatched an ant about a third larger then it was! the hairy spider, which was about the size of a grain of rice, if not smaller, immobilized the ant in a tenth of a second, and then casually walked off with it's humongous prize.
I highly recommend staring at the movements on the ground: they can be a lot more exciting then you might first imagine.