Hello folks who pick their friends on whether they peel their string cheese or not,

Life is just another synonym for chaos. It is filled with disorder and confusion. Which restaurant to order your food delivery from? Can't find your parked car in the humongous Costco parking lot. An Uber driver cancels your ride when he is just around the corner. Gas prices inching up forcing you to cancel your gym membership. Nothing exciting to watch on Netflix. Too many options to watch on Netflix. A wardrobe full of clothes but nothing that fits your mood. Sore muscles after 1st gym day in 5 years.

It can feel like we do not have control over things happening in our lives while others around us are living their best lives if we believe Instagram never lies. At this point, how do we find peace in this chaotic world?

To find the answer, I decided to take a hike.

Focus on one thing at a time

My first stop was a Valley Oak tree. On turning over one of the leaves, I found this tiny insect that was unresponsive. So, I picked up my phone to call 911.

On looking closer, I found it was not dead, just in the middle of something. It was actually laying its eggs inside the leaf of the valley oak. These eggs will end up becoming the California Jumping Gall. (I covered that gall in a previous post. You can read about it here)

This mother wasp wasn't responding to any external stimuli which allowed me to get close to her without any public freakouts and getting pepper sprayed. In a way it was as if depositing its eggs was her meditation. Even another insect walking past her does not startle her from the act.

Give each other space

Have you ever wondered what insects are doing within a swarm that you might see near bodies of water?

You see, these swarms are males of non-biting midges or gnats that are waiting for females to pick them as a potential mate. At first, you might think this is plain stupid in today's world of Tinder. But here is the thing, these non-biting midges live from a handful of hours to a few days as adults and cannot afford to create a photo ID, get a phone, get a sim card, install the app and swipe right. Hence their best bet is to take part in these swarms which makes it easier for females to spot these sausage parties. Within the swarms, there is not much going on to be honest. These males midges are just springing up and down within the swarms while avoiding each other as a way of advertising themselves to females who might be looking. "Wow, he so fit" remarked a female midge watching from the sidelines.

Now these midges have a dilemma. The female midge wants to spend time in this relationship watching Disney+ while the male midge wants to binge watch Netflix. But they each want to start a family at the same time and considering how limited time they have on Earth they have to come up with a creative solution. So they settle for this compromise.

"Excuse me Karan, but I don't see them watching TV like you said" exclaimed one reader. It was because I took a close-up shot in the video above. Here is what it looks like from a wider angle. You're welcome. And stop doubting me next time, will you. Gawd, it's so hard to please everyone these days.

Take time to unwind

If you take a walk in your neighborhood at this time of the year, one of the plants that you will spot is one weedy looking plant called Stork's-Bill. After one look at the seed pods, you understand where they got their name from.

One of the fascinating things about this plant are its strange shaped seeds.

Looking at one you will see they have a distinct corkscrew shape which in unlike other seeds you might have observed.

You see, these corkscrew shaped seeds respond to humidity. On receiving rain or damp soil, they will change their shape to create a drilling action and bury itself in the soil.

On the other hand, if it loses humidity it will change to its original corkscrew shape again.

On second thought, I will stick to Instagram or TikTok to find the meaning of life.

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