Tony Hillsdale was an expert naturalist. He often led tours through the internationally known Markham Forest.
“This forest is a biologist’s dream,” explained Tony. “For reasons not yet understood, the animals here are evolving far faster than anywhere else. This is mostly expressed in new forms of camouflage.” He pointed to the leaf litter nearby. “For instance, over there is a Hopkin’s Viper.”
“I don’t see anything,” said Gordon.
“Where is it?” squinted Heather.
“It must be tiny,” said Pam. “Is it bigger than a leaf?”
Tony reached out with his walking stick and poked at the leaves three feet away. A thick snake, nearly four-feet long suddenly slithered away.
Heather squealed. Everyone else nearly jumped out of their skin.
“That’s incredible!” exclaimed Gordon, popping an aspirin.
“There’s even better examples,” grinned Tony. “Somewhere in these woods is a giant beetle. It looks nearly identical to a small camouflage-patterned backpack.” He pointed, “Kinda like yours, Heather.”
Heather suddenly froze. “I don’t have a backpack!”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/sunday-photo-fiction-september-24th-2017/
For those wondering about the aspirin part: Aspirin is a cheap and effective preventative for heart attacks.
Nature already has some astounding camouflaged animals. Below is a picture of a Gaboon Viper. It fills the image, but it’s still hard to see.
Below is a Frogmouth bird. Looks like wood, right? I looked straight at one from a short distance one time, and I still couldn’t see it.