…gone buggy

I’m being watched. Every day, as I write for the past three days, I am being watched by a grasshopper who hops up and slams into the window and clings there until I open it and brush it away. I know it is the same one, because it’s missing one back leg. I thought maimed animals were disadvantaged, but I’m learning from the son who is the font-of-insect-knowledge that this is normal and it’ll be just fine.
I’m totally writer blocked… can you tell? T.

Yuck! Bugs. Not my favorite. Earwigs and daddy-long-legs were the worst! My 2nd grade science teacher assured me that daddy longlegs weren’t poisonous because they didn’t have a mouth. But what if I ate them accidentally … like in my sleep?

My children have just presented me with an internet statistic that says we eat 18 spiders in our sleep in our lifetime.
Just so you know and bon appetite, T.

Yuck, Earwigs! Has anyone ever had a wig in their ear? That just can’t be good. Mom hated that they came indoors in everything, the clean wash, the sleeping bags, the garden produce. Everything that spent any time outside came back inside infested with earwigs.

Well, that was my hated bug of choice—up until I moved here, to Bugville, USA. Here, there are big spiny crickets that migrate from a South direction to the North, irrespective of obstacles like homes in their path. They sacrifice a leg or two in my entry way on their pilgrimage, but still they drag themselves, dropping body parts through the kitchen, South to North until they die!
And slugs—I hate slugs that are easily the width of a corndog and longer than my hand and slimy and eat all my plants and the cat food and leave slippery trails over the linoleum and they feel like anacondas when you step on them barefoot in the dark!

There are big brown moths—easily a hand-span wide that are laying eggs and eating my clothes. I have termites eating my house, fleas eating my cat and heaven forbid! “Don’t sit on the grass!” as there are chiggers waiting to lay eggs under my skin! We have found ticks embedded in the worst possible of places—places where watching intently for the bullseye to appear (lyme disease) is also considered a master yoga position.

But the worst by far are brown recluse spiders, nineteen different varieties that wait in the bed to bite you when you roll over them in the dark. If they bite your nose and it swells with infection, it could fall right off! That’s what could happen with brown recluses that live in big trees and we have fifteen big trees right outside my front door.
Again, the wanna-be icthiologist son, reminds me that humans are outnumbered by bugs a million to one. But I’m catching up! I pick them and poke them and pin them on my big bug board. (Actually, when I find them, I freeze them, but the alliteration so much better the other way.) I've turned to hot glue now since I discovered some hibernate in the deepfreeze and then resurrect and flutter off the pin.

Black widows make terrible specimens—so full of liquid that when they deflate, the blob of brown, with a black center and a red dot in the middle is not impressive. Dragonflies with their fluorescent iridescent bodies and translucent wings are such a testimony of the artistic humor of the Lord. June bugs are too bumbling and stupid to kill so they get the pity reprieve. Actually they are kind of endearing because they jump, hit, and land on their back buzzing feebly until you pity-flip them back over. They also qualify as miracles. After all, evolutionarily speaking, they are an engineering marvel—as it is physically impossible that they fly, but when the dumb bug repeats it and repeats it, I get tired.

I realize that bugs are not a problem for the natives—those people who have, since birth, been raised grinding cicada husks into their mud pies and hanging the hooked hulls around their necks for jewelry. There are even whole groups of individuals who look forward to “the year of the cicicada” as a gourmet gastronomical event. But I speak for the rest of us for whom these bugs are akin to the jungles of the Amazon, “We have a hard time living here.”

Bugs may be the unfair focus of the whole misery of the move; I was six months pregnant, five days of 105 degree weather, leaving our family of eleven close siblings and their families behind—yes, I could be transferring all that rage to the bug situation, perhaps. But what I know for certain is that when I have every last one of them cryogenically preserved, I’ll win!

I’m beginning to look forward to the next cicada season (every 17 years) when they pulse in a jungle rythmn, as they did the first year we were here. Because that means… less of them feeding on us because more of us are feasting on them!

Reality Bite: And what's with the hummingbird that comes and hovers in front of the window over the sink until I go out and add more food to it’s depleted feeder?