I am obsessed with wildlife. I read everything that I can get my hands on regarding just about any type of animal; even finding society's least loved species among my personal favorites. I have no qualms about photographing snakes or spiders at eye-level and do so with great enthusiasm. The funny thing is, though, if I find one of the creatures in my home, a sudden carefully and deliberately suppressed fear starts to well up inside of my chest. Among those, one in particular brings the old ancient primal fear to the surface faster than any other: Vaejovis carolinianus AKA the Southern Devil Scorpion.
I suppose having not grown up with scorpions, I find these little (around 1.5") creatures to be very unfitting house-guests. I also find it sort of ironic that on their turf, I am completely comfortable around them. However, once they enter my personal space bubble, it is almost as if they suddenly become incredibly dangerous. In fact, their sting is about the same as that of a bee.
It is at this point that I suppose I should call myself out for being a hypocrite. You see, I am often going on about how irritated I feel when people, who build their home in the mountains, complain about the bears digging through their garbage. "The problem is," I say, "That's because you've built you home in their backyard" or some variation of this lecture. I guess this rule of law doesn't apply to lowly invertebrates.
When I can, I take the scorpions outside, and release them into the woods. "When I can," actually means, when I don't almost step on one in the middle of the night and happen to have a large book on wildlife in my hand. Then, things don't fare as well for unwelcome house-guests. Hey, nobody's perfect, especially me.