Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nature Calling

Thinking back on the weekend and my evening walk to the beach with Patrick, I can't believe that we stopped to slip our noses into any variety of rosebuds along the way and came away with disappointing results nearly every time...but never thought to stop for a sniff at the pink roses in the front yard here at the Nest, which are quite fragrant.

Java and Birdie have both posted about insects recently, and they reminded me that I've had a few encounters of the bug and insect variety in the past week or so, which I've been remiss about sharing with you. I've uploaded each one of the following to in hopes of learning more about each of these...and as always, I'll try to update as information warrants.

As we began the painting project in the dining room on Saturday, we discovered two of three of this kind of spider. This one, I'd say was maybe almost the size of a quarter...but it's possible it's grown larger in my memory, too.

Each one I managed to coax into a plastic cup for transport outside, where they were tossed gently off the deck, once I'd checked to be sure no Miss Muffet sat below.

This nasty lookin' little buggy is, of course, an earwig. They always give me the creeps, though they are, apparently, mostly harmless.

This jumpy little spider dude lives in my car, or at least that's where we recently encountered one another. He seems to enjoy running around on the ceiling in my Saturn.

I'm wondering how jumpy I should feel about him being in there, since he seems to be good at hopping and jumping, himself, darting back and forth overhead.

I'm not sure what this gangly thing is. Of course, I see them every year, are they some kind of mayfly or midge or something. It was a couple inches in length, at least, and we crossed paths a while back, the night I painted the bedroom Cape Cod Gray.

I was a little concerned for its welfare, as I hadn't discovered it until after I'd begun painting, but it managed to stay clear of the wet paint, but was never far away from wherever I was working as I made my way around the room.

Of course, these encounters with Mother Nature are all pretty harmless. My friend Heidi writes me this evening from Texas:

"you know we had a little dust up here right? Ike? Or did the news not cover it so much because Bush is from here and it wasn’t Katrina? Or was it? Have a look. We are about 80 miles away from Galveston and we still have neighbors waiting for power. Some did get flooding and some more got trees though their houses...the mosquitoes down there are the size of your hand and outnumber the people about a thousand to one!"

And it occurred to me that I really haven't been hearing very much about the wrath of Hurricane Ike. I mean, I watched the CNN coverage when the storm hit, but I haven't been in the loop about much of the aftermath...and I'm not sure if that's just me being off the grid as far as TV what with the unsettled nature of Life just lately...or if it really isn't getting much coverage because of the idiocy of Sarah Palin as a Vice Presidential candidate or the bail-out of the collapsing Wall Street...which I certainly HAVE been hearing enough about.

And so in case I'm not the only person out of the loop on this one, here's the link Heidi sent along to some of the absolutely amazing and awesome photos coming from Galveston and Houston in the wake of this powerful storm.

Kinda makes an itsy-bitsy spider not seem like such a big deal, you know?


Butch said...

We have a similar fly in the northwest that we call a Crane-fly. It eats mosquitos or their larvae from what I have heard. We boast to visitors that those are just the size of our mosquitoes here in the NW. ;-)

Java said...

I haven't heard anything recently about the mess left over from Ike. I don't get much news at all, though. No TV news, no radio, I barely look at the newspaper. Most of the news I hear is from other bloggers pointing things out, so it's been a lot about the presidential candidates, Prop 8, Clay Akin and Lindsay Lohan; you know, the important things. :)

My thoughts and prayers, though, for the people of Texas and elsewhere who are still dealing with the Ike mess.

I like your little jumping spider in your car. Those fellows always fascinate me. The spider from your dining room, however, is one I wouldn't care to encounter. I had one of those gangly Golly-whompers (?) in my kitchen tonight. The earwig I can do without. We don't have them around here that I've seen. Thankfully.

dykewife said...

it leaves me feeling very glad that i don't live anywhere near a hurricane zone. even tornadoes are few and far between being on the very northern edge of the tornado belt.

Marc said...

Your gangly insect, as Butch says, is a crane fly. They have a lot of other names, probably regional, but I have always known them as "mosquito wasps". They eat mosquitoes and larvae. They are harmless to humans, even though they may look scary due to their size and resemblance to mosquitoes.

Earwigs are totally repulsive to me. Even though I am told they are harmless, they look horrible enough that I freak out when I see them. And we have lots of them here.

We're creature-friendly as well, employing the no-kill strategy.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

I know some people who can't have flowers because of earwigs, so I guess it depends on your soild type whether they are harmless or not. I know they can really pinch when you put your hand on one. Jumping spiders are cute, I am on the seventh floor but there are all kinds of them up here, they and lady bugs protect my garden from aphids.

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg...
Thought it was about time I actually commented since I visit here all the time to see what you have going on.
The big spider there looks suspiciously like a Wolf spider of which I am highly allergic (often people allergic to bee will be). They even have a tendency to attack me...true statement, and I have stories and witnesses to back it up!
And earwigs, tho' mostly harmless, scare the stuffing out of me. As a kid I had a nest of the little bugger fall on my head and I had bites all over my scalp and shoulders. So...traumatized against them for the rest of my life.
Both species die if I see them...and can yell loud enough for someone to come help me. I figure, in a life or death situation, it is me or them. Obvious choice, really.

Sue...(your Colorado friend)

somewhere joe said...

I like your bug collection. The crane fly wins the beauty contest. The little jumper is cute. The earwig looks like an alien - it's exoskeleton has inspired a number of CGI variations in SciFi horror movies.

I saw a segment on Glaveston and the hurricane on Nightline recently. Tragic. And the desolation drags on... And we're broke.

Patrick said...

I remember the big spider from our painting afternoon. I think Sue is right, the jumping spider is a wolf spider, and they do bite... might want to gently encourage it to head elsewhere, though maybe there's enough to eat in your car. Do you have a big insect problem there? I don't recall seeing any evidence, and we had french fries in there.

Bird said...

I recognised the cranefly as we have them plenty in the UK, though I never knew they ate mosquitos, or even ate at all! (must go google them) Their larval stage destroys grass roots, and are called leatherjackets.

No matter what the weather is like in the UK at least we don't get hurricanes (well... occasionally we get freak weather) I just regard your storms in terror and amazement. It's beyond anything I can imagine.

Anonymous said...

Earwig harmless??? Haven't you heard? If they get into your ear, they will eventually eat your brains out! That's the story that always was told to the little ones in my youth. I'd hate to see that jumpy spider jump in front of you on your steering wheel as you're traveling down the roads. Still waiting to hear from Gregg in Galveston so I've been trying to get in touch with his parents in Wisconsin.

Robin Easton said...

I love the spider in your car. Is he "still with us"? Or did you help along on his journey to the other side??? LOLOLOLOL

If he's still with us -- then I think it's cute that he's in your car and that you and he have little morning interactions as you drive to work. :) :) I think you should keep him. Then you can tell all your friends that you have a pet spider. :) I like that.

Also I've not heard about hurricane Ike. So this is good you posted it. I am off to look at the photos.

This was a fun and funny post with all the insects. You are a riot even when you don't know you are a riot!!! I know I've told you that before, but it's SO true about you. It's what makes you endearing and fun to know. LOL

Hugs my friend!!!!