Insecta Gargantua or The “Stinky” Truth About Spring

Spring is indeed here. The Springtime Roundup post from a few days ago contained photos of many of the lovely little flowering plants and berry vines that managed to make a fantastic debut on our property with little to no help from me. While that photo collage was lovely, it doesn’t quite capture the “stinky side” of springtime.

I began work on a back flower bed a couple of days ago, only to have the work halted almost immediately by a monstrous underground ant nest. Several of those jumbo-sized pests made their way onto my hands and feet. Let’s just say the run-in was unpleasant for all parties. Sam applied ant killer and suggested I wait several days before tackling work in that area.

About midday today we picked more dewberries. Some are left for the birds. But those growing on vines around the back of the house are fair game for humans. Only after placing the berries in a bowl did I find a third party who had taken an interest in the juicy black fruit. Worm and Berries

After discovering the little fellow I tried desperately to remember whether or not I’d popped any of those berries into my mouth before bringing them indoors. I’m going with “No, I certainly hope not,” on this one.

Dobby was awakened from her nap by the ruckus over the worm’s discovery. She was less than impressed at my angst. I made my apologies for disturbing her beauty sleep and placed the newly washed berries in the refrigerator.

Worm Animal Comments

After supper we played with the animals in the yard. Holly wasn’t quite sure whether she should get in on the game her dad was playing with the cats. Her feline sisters’ fascination over a dried stick with dangling branches was lost on Holly. Her serenade of questions didn’t seem to bother the cats much, though.

Dangling Branch Game

I took over the dangling stick game so Sam could have a break. He went inside while both the cats and I got a bit of exercise and Holly played referee. Our party came to a crashing halt, however. We could hear it coming in the air before it arrived.  BBBBBBRRRRRRRTTTTTTT…. like a helicopter flying low. And arrive, it did. Latched right on to the side of my pants and refused to turn loose.

At first glance I thought it was a cicada, though it isn’t quite time for them yet. My confusion was understandable as it was dusky and I was in a mild state of panic, growing stronger by the millisecond thanks to Insecta Gargantua attached to my leg. Beating it with the dangling stick didn’t do a thing. Shrieking for help didn’t either. So as a very last resort, I ran.  Sprinted all the way to the back door thinking that would somehow motivate Godzilla to turn loose of my clothing. Nope!

I really had a problem at that point. If I ran inside, Insecta Gargantua would come in, too. I made a very fast appraisal of the situation and praised the good Lord for the bounty of spring that causes the leaves on the bushes and trees to grow thick and full again. Thanks to the wooded area at the back of our property, and the hydrangea bushes that Sam hates so much in the back flower beds, no one could see me… no one but the cats and dog, that is.

My only option was clear. Off came the pants, open flew the door, and in I dove, slamming it behind me.

In the confusion of the second ruckus of the day, my husband failed to adequately understand the situation. He listened to my gibberish and promptly got comfortable on the chaise lounge in front of the television. He thought there was a problem WITH the pants, not a problem ATTACHED TO the pants. Problems WITH the pants should be my jurisdiction. A problem ATTACHED TO the pants should have been his.

Feeling slighted, but determined to win my pants back with no help from man or beast, I found a replacement pair of shorts and made my way into the kitchen. I cautiously opened the back door. There sat the pants, turned inside out just as I’d left them. I gave them a slight kick with my toe. No movement.

I ever so carefully picked the pants up, holding them way out at arm’s length. If that bug came flying off those pants, I wanted it to happen far away from the porch. I marched straight out to the saw horse near the burn pile. I briefly considered torching the pants, bug and all, but thought that would be like conceding defeat.

Ever so carefully and with close examination lest my hand touch something with more legs than me, I turned the pants right side out again. Nothing. I shook them slightly at first and then more vigorously. That ominous buzzing flap of wings we’d heard earlier was followed by a thud and brief skittering in the grass. And then we saw it, staring back at us…  The largest stink bug I have seen in YEARS!

Stink Bugs

The cats were unconcerned about my ordeal and not even remotely interested in this new plaything from Mama’s pants. Holly the pit bull struggled to understand what the commotion was all about. She was more concerned with joining her daddy in the comfort of the living room. Some rescue party they turned out to be.

I’m sure there’s a lesson here but I’m still a bit too perturbed by this evening’s experience to pull it together. I can offer a word to the wise: Don’t be fooled by those lovely pictures of springtime flowers, little bunny rabbits, and puffy happy clouds in the sky. There is danger lurking behind those leaves and in those blades of grass!

For those die hard readers who just must have a moral to every story, “Wash your berries before you eat them” is a great place to start.

©2015-2017 Our Lives In Stories


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