Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Welcome to Wild Shopping Carts

A pair of Crimson Wanders - one of the
first wild carts that I was able to
conclusively identify.
One of the most neglected and overlooked macro-invertebrate of urban and suburban landscapes is the wild shopping cart. Separate from the domesticated herds that cluster in the parking lots of our cities and towns, these fascinating wild carts live a remarkable and yet unrecognized existence. They lurk in the back alleys and ditches, seldom noticed by humans unless they are approached too closely and disturbed. Some are harmless omnivores, eating what they can find. Others are nocturnal detrivores that scavenge the streets at night. Still others are aggressive predators and must be approached with caution.

If you're looking to learn more about these wonderful wobblers you've come to the right place! I'll be posting photos of the species that I discover while traveling around Vancouver Island, British Columbia and I hope that this blog becomes a gathering place where others can post images of wild carts that they've found in their own back yard. More on that later.

This blog was inspired by the creative work of Julian Montague at The Stray Shopping Cart Project who developed a method of classifying stray carts that might be of interest to those wanting to learn more about species of carts in their own area. Detailed natural history accounts for species of Vancouver Island carts can be found on my personal blog Island Nature. Researchers should also consult Rock, Paper, Lizard for descriptions of species of Lower Mainland/Vancouver carts.