After my initial email to you, I Googled "Tawakoni State Park, Texas" and found plenty of good sites and information related to the communal spiders, including photographs and species information. See http://texasento.net/Social_Spider.htm" Giant Spider Web in an East Texas State Park. Also it was interesting to learn about other species of communal spiders. I was, however, wondering how long the webs have been at Tawakoni State Park, if they are still there and how many spiders it takes to build such a large web over time?
Lake Tawakoni State Park, n. Wills Point, Hunt Co., Texas, August 15, 2007 (Donna Garde) [pronounced like "guard"]
I did not realize you have personal reasons for not killing insects. If that is the case do not bother with sending me any specimens. I only advise people do that when they observe an unknown species in abundance and want to have its identity confirmed. Of course just in going through life everyone leaves a very large carbon footprint which includes a trail of unseen dead insects. Probably just in driving down the highway you kill untold numbers of insects. God only knows how many love bugs or may flies I've kill in "accidentally" driving through swarms! I hope I am forgiven and don't burn in hell! :-)
With regard to my dear brother, Stephen, he may have been somewhat like you in that he did experiment with various hallucinogens. This went fine when among friends. He had used magic mushrooms which were cooked up as a soup -- magic mushroom parties were quite popular among some groups of students and it was easy to turn on to with this or that cocktail of grass, mushrooms and pills in the student ghetto across from the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Florida. U of F is one of the biggest party schools in the nation and has been for many years. But what happened to Stephen which killed him did not happen there; it happened when we went back home to visit my father who was ill with heart disease. I was told sometime afterwards by a minister who worked with crisis situations in the area that there was a possibility Stephen was given acid contaminated with strychnine, as this had been found in the area. That is a poison and could make for some "bad trips." In any case, it is not my place to judge the innocence or guilt of the kid who said he gave Stephen acid as he probably had no idea what was in the stuff he was peddling and Stephen did have a history of substance abuse, liking to stay high for days at a time. However, when you lose someone you love suddenly, it leaves many haunting questions. That is why at the time I dug into what happened to Stephen, spoke with everyone, and even contacted the truck driver and his wife. Because the truck driver would not even speak to me or the family, that indicated there was a reason; probably he was speeding as truckers usually do speed and he may have even been using drugs himself. Plus, his wife was in the truck with him, an added distraction. So they had to cover their asses which is what they did.
The reason I wanted to share Stephen's story with you was simply to suggest that you choose another road to go down in the future. Moderation may be a key to survival in many situations. The problem with substances like acid or other cocktails of drugs is that one does not know what is in them. In a sense it would be better if recreational drugs were legal and pure and distributed in known quantities so that people would know what they are experimenting with instead of dealing with impure substances off the street thrown together by people who are primarily interested only in how much money they can make and do not care how many people they hurt or harm or how many families are destroyed in the process. So I have no problem with advocating the legalization of EVERYTHING, that at least people can make their own choice to use whatever they want and to take the crime element out of the equation, as that not only contributes to paranoia and danger in dealing (you can get killed if you are dealing large enough quantities of substances), it results in a big unknown factor as to what poisons or impurities are in the mix one is smoking, injecting or even shoving up their ass! :-)
It is much like going out and letting every spider you see bite you to see what the effects of the bite are. This will not kill you unless you have an extreme allergy to insect bites and stings as some people do. And experimenting on yourself will let you know how you are effected. But one day you will come across that highly toxic spider bite that may be fatal or result in a very bad bite. Many spiders look like spiders for a very good reason; it serve to warn and ward off larger animals. The black widow is probably the best known example of this. I think you would be quite foolish to hold a large black widow in you hand and wait to see how long it takes to bite you. Yet every day thousands upon thousands of kids pop God only knows what pills into their mouth to see what the effect will be.
Yes, I know that many cultures have used mind altering substances for thousand of years. But it is interesting to know that these were often a group experience; so there was always a support group to insure people did not hurt or harm themselves. Psychoactive drugs have also been used in therapy in which case there is also a support group to safe guard against someone hurting themselves. Using the buddy system in this respect is a good idea. So hopefully if you continue your own usage of recreational chemical substances and cocktails, you will at least do it with the knowledge and in the presence of those who are not using, so they can help you avoid any mishaps. It is the same idea as having a designated driver when you go out as a group to party; if there is one person who does not drink and who drives everyone home, then you avoid the possibility of a fatal accident after the party.
As for bioluminescent dragonflies or other unknown species, there are literally thousands upon thousands of unknown species of insects and other small animals in the world. Most of these are in the depth of the ocean or in tropical areas. Also most are very small creatures and many also are soil dwellers. But there are also fallacious reports and hoax reports. I have done my own experiments to see how easy it is to make fallacious and hoax reports as well as studied these. I have even gone so far as to invent a entire series of fanciful species of bioluminescent creatures that are from other worlds and am working on a science fiction tale in this regard. I ever market designs of these fanciful creatures. You can see these in the Alien Arthropods and Mysterious Creatures gallery: A special collection of alien designs for sci-fi gallery at http://www.cafepress.com/bytelandart/996036
Also I have invented many fanciful butterflies and even fanciful fireflies: see:
Butterflies are Magic at http://www.cafepress.com/bytelandart/985917
and the firefly gallery at http://www.cafepress.com/bytelandart/648757
In the firefly gallery I have designs made using photomicrography as well as designs made using computer graphics techniques. There are also many other pure photographic designs and presentation in The Naturalist: Wonderful Flora and Fauna Prints at http://www.cafepress.com/bytelandart/531468
You may also want to take a look at The Aliens Among Us series. This was made using plastic sculpting material. See http://www.cafepress.com/toppics/2603621 Also see Hybrid Patriotic Orchids which are another of my fanciful creations at: http://www.cafepress.com/toppics/1398729 These exist only as digital images and provide a great new symbol of pride and joy to reflect all that is great about the United States of America. One of my most beautiful creations is at http://www.cafepress.com/bytelandart/5478004 This is Jeweled Cockroach Blattodea luminus The Jeweled Cockroach Blattodea luminus is a bioluminescent cockroach that has both read and green lights and exists only as a digital image. Yet, since creating Blattodea luminus I've heard reports of it having been seen in virgin tropical rains forest! Interesting, to say the least! :-)
Perhaps you have seen bioluminescent dragonflies in Texas. The point is, one can see and create in their own mind anything and you don't need acid, alcohol or hallucinogens to do it. All you need is an imagination. Opening some doors to the mind's potential may be easier given the experience of consciousness altering substances, but it is by no means the only way to stimulate and invigorate the imagination. Certainly skilled artists and craftsmen have been doing this for ages. This is part of what goes into the making of masques, ritualistic dances, decoration of temples with imagined creatures which combine animal and human form and in modern times the creation of whole science fiction and fantasy worlds.
You may enjoy reading Adoration of Arthropods which is an article I wrote at
http://www.byteland.org/naturalist/adoration_of_arthropods.ht The Jeweled Cockroach Blattodea luminus is one of the digital illustrations I created to illustrate this article and to market upon gifts and apparel. What is my next project? Why to make some bioluminescent dragonflies, of course! This might be a digital graphic or it could even be done using Day-glow (Day-glo) paints. In fact, people have painted insects with florescent paints and Day-glow paints as well as pasted tags upon insects to track them. In fact, would be easy to rear millions of flies, spray them with Day-glow paint and release them in a populated area to spark sightings of bioluminescent flies. Also, it is now possible to create bioluminescent species using genetic engineering and this has been done with some species. I think it was even done with a rabbit. So who knows what man made creations may be out there! One of my sci-fi tales even involves what I discovered at Area 51! That is a very amourous tale published under an alias name that I have had to remove from the Internet because of persecution. It may yet see the light of day in book form -- but certainly won't be published in America as it might get me thrown in jail by the censors! :-)
I have been interested in studying insects since a child as well as photography and art. I have created all sorts of fanciful creatures and hope to one day see some of my fanciful creatures in movies (which will earn me millions in royalties) :-) I already have produced illustrations, paintings and photographs of dragonflies. Not too long ago while on a camping trip in Florida a stumbled upon twilight swarms of mayflies and got a series of great photographs with the mayflies swarming all over me. I also got some nice photographs of large dragonflies which had large red mites hitch hiking a ride upon them. I can actually see the same bioluminescent dragonflies you saw inside my mind. So it will be easy to make these into art and bring them to life.
In fact, I June I just did a whole series of dragonfly photographs. Why they would be ideal for using as a model for a bioluminescent species that may be "rumored" to be haunting the fields, forest, lakes and meadows of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Who knows, they might be real or just a fanciful creation. Even my dear brother, Stephen, told me about seeing leaves glow and imagining whole worlds of creatures and beings when he was using magic mushrooms, many of which he would draw in his sketch books. It is not hard for me to understand how using a cocktail of alcohol and marijuana might spark flashbacks, such that mayflies, dragonflies or other creatures might appear bioluminescent or dazzling to one who has done so much LSD in the past.
You see, the mind can play tricks on us and it often does. Why even in courts there are always two different sides to a story. That's what is interesting about the legal process; there never is just one side to the story; there never is an absolute truth. So who is to say if you saw bioluminescent dragonflies or not? That is why I say only if you can repeat the observation, only if you can obtain undoctored photographs, only if you can get it on video that has not been manipulated and only if you can provide specimens will you make a believer out of me. I simply know too well how easy it is to create a hoax or invent a fanciful creature, that although I bring an open and creative mind to every fantastic tale and story I hear, I also bring an analytical and critical mind. I suggest you do the same, and test your own perception of reality vs. fantasy, not only with regard to mystical creatures, but with regard to such matters as the nature of God, religion and spirituality. You see, there simply is no limit to what one may believe is true. And there is no limit to the extremes which are possible, both with respect to creation and mutation.
Just last night I saw a program on NBC about a man in India who was so covered with warts that he was being called the "Tree man." His condition was the result of his body having no immunity to the virus which caused the warts. There have been many, many similar odd cases in the past about people with rare conditions. The extremes to which organisms may be deformed or mutated is just astronomical.
Plus there are hoaxes. It is interesting to study hoaxes and to learn how they were done. There was one fellow who made giant dinosaur feet and walked on the beach to fool people. The newspapers were abuzz with reports. Only many years later did this person come forward and tell everyone how it was done.
I'm sure you have heard about crop circles and the fellows in England who made some of the first ones using a stick and rope. And there have even been cases of people creating alien like creatures using dead animals or combining various animals to make strange creatures used in the circus or other money-making schemes. Hollywood, of course, has figured out the perfect way to make hundreds of millions of dollars using fanciful creatures, puppets, models, robotics and computer generated aliens, bringing them to life at $10.00 to $15.00 or more per pop to view on the silver screen.
The creation of fanciful life forms is now big business. Even stuffed animals and alien toys are big business. I hope to one day be able to market Robo-bugs and other bioluminescent toys. Who cares if bioluminescent cockroaches, scarabs, butterflies, mayflies, dragonflies or spiders really exist or not; you can make a fortune off of them in Hollywood or through a sci-fi story that is then developed into a movie and made into toys! It's already been done with many insects and spiders and it will continue to be done. You are going to be seeing more and more aliens and fanciful creatures in the future simply because there is no limit to the imagination and it is profitable to dream and imagine and peddle one's tales to an awe inspired public that feasts upon wild and whimsical tales. Plus if you throw in a bit of horror in the process, like in The Fly or War of the Worlds, the public gobbles it up even more! Or you can go to the other extreme and create a cute animation or children's story, as Disney often does, and roll in mega bucks that way.
The point is, fantasy is big business. You are missing an opportunity if you do not turn your bioluminescent dragonflies into cash. I am currently working on several tales. One involves a Luminologist who travels the universe collecting specimens from other worlds. That is what some of my fanciful creations of bioluminescent arthropods were made to illustrate. Another is a tale related to alien arachnids. This would be a great movie if I could ever get it produced. One theme I like to repeat in my fanciful tales is that of being the "First Luminologist." But my tales are hardly for children. Most of my stories are for adults as I like to thrown in a bit of amorous adventure.
I cannot tell you how to write or what to do with your blogs. If you want you might like reading one of my blogs (I have a number of them). Cyber Sojourn is about symbolism from different cultures around the world and how I use this in my art. See http://cybersojourn.blogspot.com/
One of my most fanciful creations was the Patriotic Cockroach which I produced after 9/11. I happened to be the first person to use "Remember 9/11" and "We will not forget" on designs which I created that very day. Well, the slogan went viral and the next day people were hanging flags from the Pentagon and pirating my T-shirt designs. Oh sure, there was mass hysteria and everyone was thinking much the same thing so I really can't claim credit for being the "first" ... but I was at the front on the line, so to speak. As for being the creator of Patriotic Cockroaches I do think I was the first in that regard. Someone later started painting live cockroaches and decorating them with jewels and flags; now these are being sold for quite a hefty some. But here again, I can't claim to be the first as even the ancient Egyptians were using insects to make jewelry. It is thus not so important who comes up with an idea, as you can't patent an idea, but you can copyright a story (as blogs are copyrighted) and you can copyright designs (all my original work is copyrighted) -- what is important is what you do with the idea ... how it is developed and marketed. A prime example of that is Mickey Mouse. At the time Walt Disney created his version of Mickey Mouse their were many similar mice designs. But he did the best job of marketing his Mickey Mouse via animation, such that today all the other mice are essentially dead and Mickey Mouse dominates the industry and brings in the mega bucks in terms of animated movies and all sorts of toys and related products. Yet, if you do the research, you will find that Mickey Mouse was not an original idea; there were many, many mice at the time Walt Disney created and named his mouse M-i-c-k-e-y M-o-u-s-e.
I don't know where you want to go with your writing, Aaron. I've certainly written my share of firefly and other poems using insects and animals. Plus I've read much literature in this regard. Dr. Jame E. Lloyd, in fact, has a pretty comprehensive collection of all firefly literature which he uses to refer to when he writes articles and technical reports. I don't even know if profiting from your writing is of interest. But if it is, I'd recommend adding a bit of romance. How can you spend an evening in a woods with a lovely maiden and not include a telling of the amorous adventure?
I have an e-book book which reviews my life and adventures with many women. It was released on floppy diskette some years ago, before CD's came into being. I'm currently working on a CD of all my collected works which may include this earlier production (but I still have to convert it to HTML) and make it interactive. Plus there is some content I need to edit. Also I am a poet and have literally thousands of poems and songs to my credit. I mention this only to encourage your writing, blogging and vlogging. Just keep writing. Tell your tales. Try to make them as interesting as possible. Yes, there is a line between reality and fiction. I enjoy both but I don't need recreations drugs to stimulate my imagination and I don't recommend these to others, primarily because our culture has no tribal tradition in this regard and has criminalized the usage of many chemical substances instead of adopting a policy which would keep dirty chemical brews and cocktails off the street and would not foster a black market by criminalizing usage of substances. Yet it is also part of big business to give power and control of this to doctors and pharmacists -- this is a multi-billion dollar industry and those who have power and control do not want to give it up.
Just be careful, okay. What you do with your life is really your business and your own call. As I've told many others in many respects, I've been there! I've done that! I know the thrills! I know the ups and the downs! I've ridden my share of roller coasters! I've balled my share of beautiful women! I've been fucked and fucked up! I've been screwed and screwed over! I've even been thrown in jail and had people try to stop me from expressing myself, to censor my free expression and silence me, saying I was insane and even saying they were justified in their fraudulent claims because I did not believe in God and my art was pornographic! Ha! Ha! That's funny! What do non-artists know about ART? Nothing, really! This fraudulent imprisonment and violation of my privacy was in relation to a series I did entitled "President Bush's Purple Penis," where I showed President Bush's purple penis in a series of designs created using computer graphics. It was pure satire and quite funny, really. But some very powerful Republicans and religious fanatics did not like this and wanted to censor me any way they could. What nonsense! So after discovering some of my work on the Internet a plot was made to "destroy my life," which included a few hostile relatives. At any rate, I'm still here, though I did take that work off-line as it was published under an alias and after these people discover the author and tried to have me thrown into a mental institution, I figured it was best to delete that particular work. It was pure fiction, done to satirize President Bush; I mention it here only to give you some insight to the extremes some people will go if you do make enemies in your life and people want to try to silence you. Why I've even received anonymous death threats from some of my published letters and other work on the Internet. So beware, what may seem just a fanciful blog today, can be used as ammunition by any enemies you make in the future.
As for belief in God, I think everyone has a right to their own beliefs; to define God however they wish. I happen to believe that the universe is infinite in nature with no beginning nor end -- that it goes on forever and that the Big Bang is a delusion. This is a theory in direct conflict with all who believe in creation. When I first posted this theory on the Internet is was quite a novel idea. Now there are a number of cosmologists who have elaborated upon the idea. See Lynch Persecuted because of Eternal Universe Theory at http://www.byteland.org/cosmology/index.html
I hope you find these various sites both informative and perhaps stimulating to your own work. Follow your dreams and your passions; it will take you far. But remember, there are those who will see your experimentation with recreational drugs as something bad, as having a bad effect upon your mind and mentality; some may even say it leads to mental illness, delusion, even insanity. Your enemies, and everyone who lives long enough will make a few, can and will use your own reports against you. The more noted and acclaimed one becomes, then the more this is likely to happen. Of course celebrities may to some degree dodge the bullets just because they have so much fame and money -- though I'm not so sure Britney Spears or Paris Hilton have done the best job they could have done in this respect.
So, Aaron, keep up the good work. Oh, and if you get a chance, visit Graceland and the grave site of Elvis Presley and write about this experience and a spiritual bond with the "King," given your names are spelled the same way! See Elvis Aaron Presley at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=837