Yesterday morning Bev and I were making batches of a couple of Greek pastries to take to a party that afternoon. I had never made either of them, but now I know how! One was baclava, a sweet pastry with nuts and honey flavored with cinnamon and cardamom, while the other was spanakopita, a savory spinach and feta cheese pastry. Both pastries are made with multiple layers of diaphanous sheets of thin dough which I suspect is about one molecule thick. a dough which I cannot imagine rolling out by hand. A perfect job for a machine! The sheets of dough can be purchased in grocery stores; it’s called phyllo.
Once the pastries were out of the oven I looked through the cabinets for a suitable cover for one of the pans. Bev said, “Look way in the back — there’s a plastic cake container which ought to work.”
I pulled out the plastic container and we saw something in the bottom of it. Bev exclaimed, “It’s a scorpion!”
The scorpion looked flat and dry; as I tilted the clear plastic container it slid back and forth. I really thought it was dead and reached out to touch the seemingly lifeless creature.
Bev exclaimed, “Don’t touch it! Any scorpion you can see is alive.”
The scorpion must have heard that, as it quickly got to its feet and began to madly scuttle around the container. I said, “I’ll take it outside and shoot a couple of photos.”. Here’s one of the shots:
This scorpion species is small, about two inches long, but it can deliver a very painful sting. It is known as the Arizona Bark Scorpion. Bev got stung twice by that species last year.
I cropped two details from one of Bev’s scorpion photos. The first one is of the wickedly
effective tail and stinger. This is deployed in a unique way, arching over the arachnid’s head and discouraging the overly curious.
The second detail you might want to skip, as ii is rather disgusting, but in a creepy way it fascinates me, at least! The bars across a scorpion’s belly look provisional and improvised to me:
I can imagine a scene in a mythical Organism R&D Workshop. A demiurge is designing a prototype which will be used for the various scorpion species. The deity muses under its breath:
“They wanted a hardy little predator for the desert regions, one that needed little water. So far so good, but I wish we’d spent more time on it! That problem with the guts spilling out has been a bear to solve, and frankly I’m tired of looking at the vile beastie! To hell with it — I’ll just stick a few chitinous bars across the disgusting abdominal opening and call it a day!”