There is a definite “Eek” factor connected with insects unless you are an entomologist.
Since this writer does not subscribe to the Buddhist practice of Ahimsa, which means without harm to self or any other living things, bugs are fair game. However, she does have relatives who capture critters that get in the house and set them free outdoors.
Setting a butterfly free is one thing, but overall, her philosophy is “A good bug is a dead bug.” In pursuing that belief, she managed to create more than one squishy mess over the years.
In a previous column, we told you about the periodic appearance of Army Ants in Costa Rica. Think of them as Mother Nature’s waste disposal department. They come in. They clean up and then they are gone.
Watching the precision with which the ants behave is fascinating, but it can be painful if you get in their way. They are about 10 to 12 mm long, which is 0.472441 inches. However, it is not the size but the bloody painful and burning sting and the subsequent purple appendage covered in blisters that make them memorable.
Costa Rica also has one of the largest grasshoppers, about three or more inches long. When a bug can leap up to 20 times the length of its body, it knows no fear.
In the tropics, rainy season makes everything grow bigger, even the bugs. On one occasion, a giant grasshopper latched onto our daughter-in-law’s hair. Our son removed it and tossed it out one window, but it flew back through another one.
Bugs are annoying and nasty, which is why this lady prefers to follow the dead bug policy.
Of course, the tropics are not the only place where large insects thrive. In Texas, we have the golden orb weaver commonly referred to as a Cotton spider because it is usually found in cotton fields munching on cotton-eating insects.
Several of the guys at a past family reunion hosted at our farm one hot summer day discovered a huge Cotton spider web. They must have been quite bored at one point to spend time catching grasshoppers and tossing them into the web. The spider went on a grasshopper gorgy. At one point, we could almost hear a loud burp coming from the well-fed spider. But it was probably our imagination. Hot weather can cause hallucinations.
Periodically, the Cotton spiders seem to invade our peaceful Funny Farm. During their unwelcome visit, they weave webs in the fields, on the fences, between trees, between buildings, and sometimes they get extra creative. This year has been particularly bountiful for the Cotton spider population.
When your yard is almost five acres, a riding mower is essential. Even that way, it can take up to four hours or more to get the job done. As we discovered, mowing can be hazardous to one’s well-being when those arachnids are around.
Even if you keep an eye out for the giant spider webs, you inevitably run into them. That is when things get dicey. Your hands flail against the wisps of webs caught on your face, in your hair or on your clothing which results in distracted driving. Nothing messes with the driver’s Zen mood than crashing into trees or fencing.
Sometimes residue gets stuck in the bottom of a skillet. If you pour warm water into the pan and set it on the stove, it will loosen the stuck food. At which point, we usually open the back door and toss out the entire mess into the flower bed.
The other day, this writer opened the backdoor and tossed out the wet mess in a skillet. What she did not expect was to have all of it fly back into the house.
Until that moment, she did not notice the giant spider web covering the doorway. The weave was so tight none of the solids, and a scant amount of the liquid passed through it. Cleaning up the resulting mess did not endear the thoughtless arachnid to this woman.
The experience cemented her belief, “A good bug is a dead bug.”