Archive for the ‘Insects’ Category

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What’s Bugging You? II

October 2, 2009

Here’s some (really bad) photo evidence of the creatures I mentioned the other day HERE. Sorry about the picture quality…. the focus when zoomed really sucks.

Praying Mantis Silhouette

Praying Mantis Silhouette

Taken from inside the shower / tub.

in all his green glory

in all his green glory

From outside.

punk-spiked caterpillar

punk-spiked caterpillar

Hadn’t seen one like this before. Besides his loverly yellow jacket he had a half-dozen long spikes dotted along his body. Most caterpillars we see are rust and black banded ones.

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Down TO The Wire

September 28, 2009

Okay, so… mea culpa. It’s getting near the end of my shift and I had this post in mind to write but I was distracted; by work of all things. Well, for a while at last. Then on to roaming the blogs and catching everyone’s recent posts. Best laid plans and all…

Alien visitor – There I was in the shower yesterday and I happen to look out the window. Yoiks….!! Looking back at me is a Praying Mantis and he’s really watching, too. I move my hand this way – and his little triangular head swivels this way, too. Wave it over here – back it comes again. A little creepy, hmm? I named him Tom but it could just as well have been Bob. I don’t think the pictures I took turned out very well, what with the steamy window and all, but I’ll post one if it’s any good. There was no sign of him today. I sure hope that big-assed spider hunkered over in the corner didn’t get him.

Had the dogs in the yard and I spy a Wooly Caterpillar lumbering through the grass. I wave Milo off cuz that dog’ll eat anything that moves and I’m pretty sure caterpillars wouldn’t agree with his not-so-delicate system. The weather prognosticators claim they can predict what winter will be like based on the caterpillars coat. If this one is to be believed (or copied) we’re going to need nice long, thick, warm coats ourselves to get through this one. Ditto with the pictures; as above.

Yes, the dogs. I had Freedom back to the vet last week for another check up with the surgeon. No real concern – just getting his opinion. Both he and the vet are seeing signs of progress; Lynda and I somewhat less so. We’re continuing to be very cautious and one of us is with her 24/ 7. Freedom’s recovery is so incremental, so slow that the improvements aren’t terribly apparent to us. We need some outside perspective periodically. Milo is getting ripped off; not getting the attention and exercize he needs. He’s as smart as a whip and a bundle of repressed energy. Quite the personality.

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Meant to mention that I caught a documentary (/interview) about (/with) W.P. Kinsella, writer of ‘Shoeless Joe’ which became the film ‘Field of Dreams’. You know – ‘If you build it, they will come.’  The documentary was a nice piece of work that covered his entire life and career. I was especially glad they visited on an earlier section of his writing that I loved which involved a series of books about life on a native reservation in Western Canada. He created a colourful cast of characters including Frank Fencepost and Mad Etta, the medicine woman. Kinsella’s writing ended when he suffered a head injury and was in a coma, bed-ridden for 3 months. A long convalescence. Since then he has editted (with the help of his wife) his previous output for collections but written very little.

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What’s Bugging You??

September 2, 2009

It can range from little pests and annoyances right on up to major fears and phobias. Things that make your skin crawl and you shudder.

gnarly winged creature

gnarly winged creature

I spotted this loverly bugger the last week I was on nights resting on the seat of a molded plastic chair. He was 3/4’s the size of my hand with those out-stretched legs. One reason I’m sorta glad summer is winding down is that it’ll spell the end of so many creepy crawlies. One of my pet peeves, especially working nights, is walking into spider webs and having them draped across my face, in my hair and beard. Gack! Stutter and spew!

Last week Lynda decided to take Freedom down into the backyard for the first time since this most recent surgery. It was a nice leisurely stroll until Lynda spotted a good sized black snake threading it’s way through the grass. She found herself in the uncomfortable position of having to remain calm for the dog’s sake, all the while shrieking on the inside. Lynda is positively phobic about snakes and would gladly walk across burning coals than cross paths with a snake. This one was probably a water snake that had roamed the 100 yards or so from the creek running behind the house.

Friday I was out there roaming with the dogs and nosing about the yard when I spotted another one amongst the grapevines and sunning himself atop the fence rail. Knowing how Lynda feels about them I considered whacking him with a shovel and declaring myself the hero… but, one of God’s creatures and all… who am I to take a life, etc., etc. After I took a few shots of him with my cell camera and my digital I brushed him into the long grass over the fence and watched him depart. Looking at an on-line field guide it was probably a Corn snake. Very lightly marked; sandy coloured.

digital - snoozing snake

digital - snoozing snake

cell - another view

cell - another view

When I told Lynda what I’d done she became a raving lunatic, cursing me out and declaring she’d never set foot in the back yard again – why hadn’t I killed it?? So far as I know she’s been good to her word. Lord, she’s ready to list the house! Me, I would have just as soon caught him and put him in a terrarium for a few days.

So, what gives you the willies??

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And on the plus side ++++++++ Lately I’ve seen:

– on two occasions – hummingbirds. One checking out our roses; the other zooming over the neighbours house at top speed.

– a crane lifting off from the creek and gaining altitude over the greenbelt. Great lumbering sweeps of his wings getting him aloft.

– one of the largest and most beautiful dragonflies I’ve ever seen. A brilliant, shimmering neon bronze colour.