Study in Orange: Part 4

It's Not Easy Being Orange

My uncertainty in this composition is to know which is chicken and which is egg.

Biotransmorgrification is most certainly at work here, but I cannot make out in which direction.

I’m putting my bet behind this: that the red-spotted newt (eft stage) is shedding airborne mitotic spores that fall to earth along its path and create new knobby orange newt buds that you see here. These will soon morph into very tiny perfectly formed efts that will then appear in the oddest of places along the trail, and at times of extended wet weather, they will shed yet more newt spores and create even more living orange in the landscape.

Contrarywise, it could be that the fixed mushroom-appearing things drop spore-bearing newt pupae in mossy areas, and the matured and legged phase transports the spores more directly and intentionally than wind could accomplish, completing the orange-to-orange life cycle.

Further observation is required.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. You are bad, Fred. You had me going there! My biology education was 50 years ago, so I didn’t trust myself to know fantasy from fact. (You did make all this up, didn’t you?)