I have never been able to figure out this chicken-and-egg relationship between an insect with mouthparts, behaviors and life cycles that are exquisitely adapted to a specific plant species and the plant’s perfect accommodation to and absolute dependence on those same insect adaptations for its survival. This relationship is often given as the textbook example of co-evolution.
The insect: the Yucca Moth. The plant, what we call Spanish Bayonet, Yucca filamentosa. You can read more about the biology of this relationship here (note the my Natural History page!). The plant from which this photo was taken is just beyond our front porch. We think the species name is based on the word YUK because they are taking over a half acre of pasture down where Goose and Nameless Creeks meet.
And more evolution: I think I have come upon the narrative thread, purpose and theme of a future book that will be a full color nature-related work. I can’t tell you too much about it just yet (for both reasons of it’s present state of immaturity and because I need a certain degree of nondisclosure to protect the concept). But it seems like one of those AHA! coming-together moments. It will likely take two years to carry to print. But at least I have the sense just now that even though there is not much forward motion in this long journey, the destination is known.
And if this project reaches the conclusion I hope, it will represent the co-evolutionary end point that brings together my long-standing love of light seen through the lens of a camera, my equally enduring compulsion to connect the sense and senses of field-trippers in nature, and my relatively new passion for writing about the images from such personal field trips just out our door.