Wanted: Dead and Alive

I felt the moral obligation to respond to a senior biology student’s Facebook post. It was a plea for fellow Wooster students to go to Spangler Park and look for salamanders and frogs. there were only about four of us who made it to the trail that day, and after a quick intro on how to find and safely catch our amphibian friends, we were on our way.

After about an hour out and about with many salamanders caught and released (no frogs that day), I found myself drawn to a certain rock. It was smaller than the rocks that normally homed the reptiles we hunted, but I felt drawn to it nonetheless. Underneath this rock was a small black salamander, the exact identification I forget, but on the rock was a small bivalve, likely from the Cambrian Era. The fossil was waiting millions of years to be found but the salamander would not have even been there an hour later and possibly not even an hour before.

2 thoughts on “Wanted: Dead and Alive”

  1. This is a fascinating expansion of our prompt about the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t nature of nature; some natural phenomena are willing to wait for millions of years to be discovered, while others escape into the night as fast as they arrive. Nature rarely ever has just one face; in every matter it has hundreds of faces with hundreds of mouths talking over each other, arguing and compromising and slowly, abstractly shaping the nature of the mortal world.

  2. I love the start to this–the moral obligation of trying to help your fellow student out when you know, for the sake of your own research, you’ll inevitably be asking students to help you out is a feeling, now that I’m doing I.S., I know all too well.

    Your last line is also especially interesting. I think this could really be expanded; the strange feeling you get when you think about how so much of life is left up to chance lingers really well in this last bit of prose, but I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on it with specifics to this rock and salamander.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Privacy Statement