When choosing silver for a prompt today, I think I was just thinking about shiny things and how I love them. I didn’t actually know what one might paint for this one. I looked up references of actual raw silver and wasn’t inspired, but then somehow stumbled across a silver fish instead. Not to be confused with a silverfish which is a weird wingless insect that scurries around wreaking havoc in homes. Yuck! But, instead a shiny cute fish that looks like it’s made of molten metal. Cool! That’s at least the hope, as this is another fast and furious doodlewash that is lucky to resemble a fish at all. Apparently the reason why some fish have evolved to become silver, or at least appear that way, is in order to protect themselves from predators. If they were blue, to match the water, they would still look like little dark shadow puppets to a predator swimming around underneath them. The reflective nature creates the perfect camouflage at all angles. So, yeah, nature is just really, really clever.
The weird and wild defense mechanisms that creatures use have always fascinated me. So much more elaborate and interesting than the human fight or flight options. Though many of these mechanisms employed by animals would admittedly be super freaky if they were employed by humans. Skunks come to mind, and their unique ability to squirt foul-smelling juice out of their bum. Some lizards shoot blood from their eyes while a particular type of bird vomits something stinky and orange onto its attackers. Things get super weird for the sea cucumbers, though, as if their name wasn’t already odd enough. They start their defense by releasing a sticky poisonous toxin. If that doesn’t work, they pretend to be dying by shaking around and contracting their muscles so violently that some of their organs slip out of their anus. Their enemies just sort of move along rather sheepishly after that, as really, what else could one do in that situation.
As ever, I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent here, and even I no longer understand what I’m talking about. But it does make me think of all the little defense mechanisms I employ every day. Things like pretending that I’m responding to a text in order to avoid any conversation at all on an elevator. Nothing major, just something small that keeps me happily in my own little bubble when that’s where I prefer to be. Those who think of themselves as a “people person” may find this behavior shocking, but those fellow introverts out there know just what I mean. I enjoy being around other people for short periods of time, but then need my own time to unwind with the thoughts swirling in my head. I’ll always come back, but I sometimes go just a bit icognito. Quietly disappearing to float for a bit in my own happy little world, much like a silver fish.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!