Friday, September 07, 2007


Today on the way to work I felt that distinctive itch. Yep, it was in fact a flea, in my car, feasting on my ankle. Balancing driver safety with angry vengeance, I shocked myself by actually capturing the little bastage. I opened the window, and something like a person dumping a problem raccoon in the wild (also known as ditching a raccoon in an area where it can do even more damage) I flicked it out onto the highway. Ha! Take that evil flea! Try to find your way back from *that!*

Which of course will lead to the flea version of Homeward Bound.

Later, I was planting bulbs feloniously in my garden. Well, semi-feloniously. I've cut back massively on plant purchases and I felt okay about spending a few dollars on cheap bulbs and three mums at the store after work. Anyway, I was planting these bulbs when I felt something prickling on my shoulder. I looked and ack! Big bug! I brushed it off my shoulder before my mind fully processed what kind of bug it was.

Praying mantis. I love praying mantids and this one was relatively small still and bright green. I found it again, made sure it wasn't hurt to the best of my ability (it wasn't missing any limbs and wasn't leaking goo which is more like a catastrophic injury than what a human knows as 'hurt'--what does a minor injury look like on a bug and would we notice?) and then transferred it to a rose, which I knew wouldn't get weeded, like, ever. The thing about praying mantids about the garden is that weeding potentially kills them, as well as some caterpillars who happen to adore young daisies in their immature rosette form (where the plant is basically a small flush of leaves and nothing else.) These caterpillars are majorly cute, like teddy bear caterpillars except blonde and fuzzy instead of brown and black and fuzzy. I'm not sure what the praying mantids like but they seem to end up on me when I'm near the wild evening primroses and/or the butterfly bushes. It's something tall, because they end up on my arm or my head or my back. I partially smushed one and I felt very bad about it--still do. They're very expressive for an insect. They appear to have the ability to hood their eyes, or maybe at certain angles it looks like they have a structure like an adjustable eyelid. Anyway, they can look mean, or serene, or very wide-eyed and, well, buggy. Their legs too fold up in interesting ways that hints at how aggressive or how passive they are at the moment.

So I hoped that he would stay on stuff that I wasn't planning on weeding until late winter during those rare times when it's nice out but not uncomfortably chilly and the ground is dry enough to weed. During those times I'll have to watch for egg sacs. Hopefully we'll have lots of babies next spring, voraciously gnawing down our pest insects.

Which reminds me. Our beautiful purple beech tree has whiteflies. They're not particularly problematic, mostly unsightly, though they can severely damage young plants. They love the beech, and apparently, finches love the whiteflies. A whole flock of birds came in to clean the leaves off a couple of mornings ago. I went out to see what the noise was all about, thinking I had some migratory birds picking around the birdfeeders. Nope, it was our local finches flitting about the beech leaves like oversized, super-clumsy hummingbirds. One of our hummingbirds wasn't amused by this activity and kept buzzing the finches.

Yep, it's been all about bugs lately. As for the flea--

Crawl crawl crawl crawl--
ZOOOOM! (as a car zooms overhead)
Spring! Spring spring spring! (runs out of hydrolic energy in its brief flea panic)
Crawl crawl crawl crawl crawl ....

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