Hunting vs. gathering

Hunters, by Banksy

Yeah, yeah, it’s Black Friday. But it’s also just three days until the opening day of regular rifle deer season in Pennsylvania, which for some people I know is like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s rolled into one. So while the gatherers are standing in checkout lines, the hunters are moving tree stands around, cleaning their rifles, and going to the target range.

For the righteous among us, of course, there’s always leftover tofurkey and Buy Nothing Day. To each his/her own. Me, I’m going out to look for some photos.

Plastic mantis

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

7 Comments


  1. Sheeesh, Dave, I was not aware of the term ‘Black Friday’ in this context and rushed from your blog to a news site to see if there had been a US economic crash since this morning and no one had told me!

    Great photo, in so many ways!

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  2. That is a beautiful photo, Dave. Here in Santa Cruz, there is a -1.7 tide today, and fortunately Roger is well enough to go for a walk. We’re taking the camera and binoculars and will be out looking for octopus in the tidepools, and fossils in the cliff walls. The only things we’ll be gathering are delights. Hope you find many opportunities to gather the same.

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  3. Jean – Sorry; I’ll add a link! Traditionally, it’s the biggest shopping day of the year, and thus the day when U.S. merchants get back in the black. So this is a rare example of “black” being used in a positive context – except for folks who are opposed to consumerism, of course.
    UPDATE: Nope, according to Wikipedia the term was originally applied for negative reasons, referring to the hectic crowds and traffic. Oh well.

    By the way, that photo was unstaged. In fact, the dead crane fly is still sitting there on top of my computer, next to the plastic, glow-in-the-dark praying mantis that somebody gave me.

    Hi robin – Glad to hear Roger is able to get out! Happy gathering/hunting.

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  4. Great photo; the mantis’s shadow is better than the mantis itself.

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  5. The picture is a small poem & the perfect illustration for the post.

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  6. We’re taking the camera and binoculars and will be out looking for octopus in the tidepools, and fossils in the cliff walls. The only things we’ll be gathering are delights

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  7. can’t wait for this season. I’m getting ready as we speak… :)

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