May 18, 2006

Bugs

The first and most important "bug" this week was the one Emily had.
She again came down with just a fever--no other symptoms. So, after 24
hours, I called the doc, and they of course wanted to bring her in to
check for an ear infection. Nada. Doc said to wait until Friday, and
if there was still just a fever, they would do the usual tests. I was
NOT looking forward to helping to hold her down again so they could get
blood. It's hard to get blood out of baby elbow (although the device
they use to collect baby urine--*that* one cracks me up every time!).

So, I'm happy to say that she's been much better today, and the fever
seems to have abated. Whew! I was hoping for either that, or for at
least a sniffle to start so we'd know it was a cold. First time I ever
remember wishing for a sniffle...

The second bugs are out in the yard. I know spiders aren't technically
bugs, but I have to share this creepiness. When we cleared the leaves
off the garden a few weeks ago, there were tons of spiders. Now, I
really mean TONS. If we crunched the leaves a little in one spot, you
could actually hear the "whoosh" made by thousands of little spider
feet, and watch--if you were quick--their little bodies scurrying out
of the way. (One reason I am not too grossed out is that they always
did scurry *away*, and not towards us.) They were probably either hobo
or wolf spiders, both ground dwellers who love hiding in leaves.
Anyway, although some of them likely rode off to the compost pile with
the leaves, I've noticed several of them are still hanging out in the
garden. This makes me happy, since they're not herbivores--they're
carnivores, and should eat lots of other bugs, leaving my garden to
grow in more peace.

I wonder if spiders ever try slug for lunch?

I noticed them in particular because...ta DA! I planted some hot
weather stuff today: beans, summer squashes, pumpkins, and some flowers
to keep them company. My battle with the bluebells ended
yesterday--I've topped or yanked or dug up all I'm going to this year.
This will leave me more time for the fun--the battle was satisfying in
that next year will be easier, but not how I like to really spend my
time in the yard.

The third and fourth bugs are companions (plus a fifth). Every year
around now, there is a huge influx of soldier beetles. Some of them
get in the house, and creep out innocent bystanders, but I've learned
that beyond being harmless (they're not roaches, and they don't bite),
they are beneficial. Our fair city is built, I swear, on an ant hill.
'Most everyone, no matter where in the city they live, gets ants now
and then. Soldier beetles LOVE ants, to the point where, whenever we
get ants in the house, within a day or so I see two or three beetles
have snuck in, and there are no more ants. Since ants "farm" aphids,
which are not very good for plants, I'm happy to see the beetles win.
Sometimes they startle me--their habitat is just outside my office, and
whenever the screen is open they can creep in--but it's worth it.

1 comment:

Tamara Pickerel said...

lucky you on the bugs... We have had a major indoor infestation. In our bedroom for the past three nights we have been vacuuming up dozens of the beetles 3 to four times. The reason being: trying to sleep whilst bugs are literally crawling on your face, and body is just TOO CREEPY. Albeit it is good news they like to eat the ants, I never knew!
Oh, and by the way I feel cheated, the white lilac bush is so tall I can't reach to cut myself off blossoms for my own house???? not to mention it being located behind the garage where I can't even view it. Me and that bush are just not meant to be I guess. Still glad you all (my favorite neighbors) can enjoy it.