As fairly large animals ourselves, people tend to overlook the incredible miniature world around us — but every now and then, a reminder pulls my attention back to just how many wonderful things I have left to see and experience, right in my own surroundings.

Today, we were eating lunch, when we noticed little bits of lichen on the table were moving — not just blowing in the wind type of moving, either, but an actual walking type of moving! After initial disbelief, closer inspection of this ambulatory lichen revealed little legs work busy at work. A quick search and the identity of the creature was uncovered — a lacewing larvae. Like a decorator crab, the lacewing larvae covers itself in debris — sand, lichen, vegetation — as a camouflage.

The tiny lacewing larvae will eventually mature into a flying insect — with wings veined like lace — that feeds on troublesome bugs, so many gardeners try to attract lacewings to their crops.

I love little surprises like this!

Lacewing larvae by Cortney Cameron.