It's amazing how much we know about . . . well . . . everything! Sometimes I think we know too much. I know that I often know just enough to freak me out all the time (hmmmm . . . that may be my neurotic tendencies more than the knowledge though). But really, my mom is always saying it was easier to parent when there were only a few books and not a billion different ways to choose from. It seems like it might have been easier when your role was defined and you don't know much else! But really I am glad we live in the age of information (and info at your fingertips). It's not always good info (Wikipedia anyone?) but it's info just the same and it feels good when we find answers - no matter if they're the right answers. They're answers damn it!
While we were vacationing at the beach this summer we made a few interesting finds. We found some egg casings on the beach which we didn't recognize (and I'd never seen before in all these years going to Vashon) and a crazy-huge black & white bug with amazingly long black & white striped antennae. Now in the "old" days we'd say, "Wow, I wonder what that is?" and if we remembered later we might try to look them up in a reference book. But really, we wouldn't remember by the time we were anywhere near a reference book. Well, this time I snapped some pix and then searched on Google using my wireless laptop on the deck after Monkey went down for a nap. In just a few searches I found the answers. No trip to the library needed. Now this was a bit exhilarating but it also made me stop and think. Now I know why my generation (and especially those that follow) have issues with delayed gratification . . . because we don't have much of a delay.
So when Monkey gets older we'll definitely use Google (or whatever else there will be by then) but hopefully also try to do some extra research when needed so everything isn't so instant!
But in the meantime here's what I found:
The eggs are squid egg capsules and the bug is a Banded Alder Borer. So now you can file those away for when you stumble across them.
Here's a better picture of the insect (found on google images - bugguide.net). It is a pretty spectacular bug (about 2 inches long) and a bit frightening when it's flying toward you and you don't know what the heck it is! Apparently, they are attracted to fresh paint so sometimes you'll get a swarm on a freshly painted building.
I was more interested in just finding out what laid the egg casings we found all over the shoreline (Monkey loved picking them up and hurling them back into the sea). He would yell, "eggs! eggs!" with delight and scoop them up for a good throw. The main thing I found was that there's been a study that shows contact with squid egg capsules increases agonistic behavior in male squid . . . so now you know!
Ahhh . . . knowledge!