I simply love the beauty of nature and at times like these the absolute contrast that they provide.
In these first set of pictures you can see a giant red and black striped milipede or as it is commonly know in South Africa a 'Shongololo' in between the leaves of a Haworthia succulent in our nursery. This little bug is carnivorous and part of the natural pest control, I am pretty sure that he just stopped in for a quick look around for any succulent bugs to eat and then as soon as he appeared, he disappeared again in the search of greener pastures so to speak... I am sure that we will see him again soon.
I simply loved the contrast of the blood red on the frosty leaf tips of the succulent, it had that real blood on ice feel to it, and just watching this guy gracefully move and scurry in-between the leaves as if navigating a labyrinth of sorts was a beautiful sight indeed.
Although shongololos are predators in their own rights, they certainly are far from being on the apex scale, so they have put quite a few defense mechanisms in place to protect themselves from predation.
"Their primary defense mechanism is to release a foul-smelling toxin, which is made up of hydrochloric acid (which burns) and hydrogen cyanide (which asphyxiates). This keeps most predators at bay, except for shrews and civets, which appear to be immune to these toxins. Millipedes also curl up into a tight ball when threatened, to protect their soft underparts."
The next set of contrasting photos are simply of water droplets from early morning rain caught in a tightly woven spider web, and at fist glance it simply looks like splashing water perfectly frozen in time, and only when you look a bit closer do you see the fine strands of silk that compose the spiders web...
For me the focus of the contrast here is simply in the fact that water to me represents life, and a spiders web of course houses death, and in this moment they both seem to co-exist, neither demanding anything from the other, both simply being present in the exact same moment.
Maybe I am just too easily fascinated by nature, but as always I am very happy to share these moments with you...