Tuesday, February 16, 2010


In this slow part of winter, as we're waiting for the big hinge to turn, I thought I'd take advantage of the brief lull to ramble on a bit about the fact that those who live in the city have few such educational experiences, but if you live in or next to the woods you soon get to know all the resident bugs on a personal basis (any day now) because they all come to visit you at one time or another, bringing family and friends to introduce to every aspect of your house and garden (the bug family is a big one), hang around your lights and meals and get personal, quickly wearing out what little welcome they might have, except in a few instances, like ladybugs, lightning bugs, crickets and butterflies.

So in the country, bugs become pretty thoroughly intimate with their human counterparts. The city dweller, by contrast, when buzzed by a bug on a bus for example tends to cringe away, hands waving, because the creature is a complete stranger and intruder, whereas the country dweller in the city recognizes it, because it or its relative has been to his house before, and he relates accordingly.

For example, there's the hinged bug our cat caught once, that was fascinatingly iridescent down its beetly back, it seemed to be in three segments, maybe - including antennae - ten centimeters long, and that as far as I could tell rubbed the segment edges together to make a kind of intimidating hissing sound, which sure didn't intimidate the cat, but it probably works on other bugs, and it certainly worked on me, I wouldn't touch the thing, but if I meet its like on the subway at least we won't be unacquainted, whereas a city dweller being a complete stranger to such a creature might faint dead away (though bugs of this type tend to shun the city as unrewarding to their kind, which requires trees, genuine soil and relatives in ample numbers).

Bugs themselves keep no record of having met you; the social aspects all have to be taken care of on your side, so that a chance meeting isn't a total surprise (I never forget a face), as nearly all such occasions (excepting the cockroach et al.) are for the poor city dweller, who after all coined the verb 'to bug'.

Now back to prepping for the big hinge.


Mary Lou said...

WHAT? no picture?

Anonymous said...

I am impressed you had a winter break.... from the bugs......

We have had Asian ladybugs (who are not very lady-like, they bite) and gnarly bugs (a large, beetle with tall jointed legs, that seem like a B-52 when flying at one in the kitchen...) all winter. The gnarly bugs alledgedly hide under rotting veggies in the garden and munch out all winter, however I think they are more fond of the non-insulated walls of this farmhouse. The cats are trying. The point, we swat and grab the non-lady bugs. Gnarlys are a different story. When walking they stand at least a half an inch off the floor, and actually will LOOK at you, or the cat,such a a preying mantis will, which frankly, creeps us all out. I looked them up in my trusty bug-book to find out if the stink that is caused when they are smooshed is a venom, but no, just a defense mechanism, which evidently works quite well, as they have no natural predators. Even the birds will not munch on them. Sort of like spider crabs in the ocean. Totally out of control.

My cats are wimps. Or extremely civilized. Either way extermination is up to me. GAK.

I tried my mothers trusty trick of sticking empty jars over them until the boy comes home, too creepy.

Such is life next to a huge veggie garden....


Afterthought.... I am putting pics on the blog. I need pics! Not too many, just mood setting.