Archive for the ‘bugs’ Tag

12-01-2014 Journal – Things I Once Hated II   Leave a comment

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I thought starting the month of December with part two of my review of “Things I Once Hated” would be appropriate.  After working for a toy retailer for thirteen years, I once hated Christmas with a passion, but as you can see I continue to show improvement in some areas. Here are the next fifteen items.

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#11 Pierced Clits – While I think these body decorations can be interesting they also have the ability to be dangerous.  I no longer hate them but I do think we males should be forewarned in some fashion as to the possible dangers to our equipment. 100% improvement.

#12  Large Groups of People – I still hate this.  You can’t easily get over a phobia like this so there will never be improvement here.

#13  Old Gum Under Tables – No matter how good that old gum might taste I refuse to partake.  It also sticks to the knees of my pants and I hate that.  No improvement.

#14  Penis Tattooing –  Just saying those two words  make me cringe. I still hate unnecessary puncturing of the genitals for any reason and can’t be convinced otherwise. No improvement.

#15  Penn & Teller – Over the years my opinion on these two has changed a lot.  I still think Penn is a big blowhard but I’ve taken a liking to Teller.  He knows when to keep his mouth shut. 50% improvement.

#16  Dumb Cashiers – This problem is even worse now than it was when I initially made my list.  No improvement to this everlasting annoyance.

#17  Stinky Feet – Unfortunately I still hate this.  To my everlasting embarrassment I’ve become a contributor to this problem.  I hate my own feet and how they reek.  No improvement.

#18  Decomposition – My feelings about this go hand-in-hand with Funerals.  Thank God for cremation because I don’t even like to think about being embalmed and left to rot. Creepy as hell if you ask me so there’s no improvement.

#19  Night Farts – I’ve had to modify my feeling somewhat on night farting. While I don’t mind my own I have some serious issues with my better-half. So I’ll just call that a 50% improvement.

#20  Bugs Crawling On Me – Absolutely no change here.  I freaking hate it. No improvement.

#21  Tongue Studs – After giving this category a little more thought and doing a little field research I’m now all for them.  See how much I’m growing  and improving.  100% improvement.

#22  Hairy Bushes – This is a tough one. In Summer I hate them but in Winter I love them.  I’m forced to declare an improvement of 50%. It’s just the right thing to do.

#23  Terrorists – Kill them all.  No improvement.

#24  Overweight Pets – This category can’t really change.  Owners are mostly responsible for this problem and need to change their ways. No improvement.

#25  Know-It-All’s – No change here either.  These people make me want to scream and then kick their collective asses.

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That concludes my revisits to the first twenty five items on my list of one hundred.  More to come in the next few weeks.

07-15-2014 Journal Entry – Back to the Woods!   Leave a comment

This has been a week of rain then sunshine then rain and on and on and on. The humidity is constantly high and sleeping is a real challenge. It certainly limits my activities to hanging around the house and driving my better-half over the edge. It must be true because she tells me that at least twice a day. What to do, what to do.  My only solution is to take my camera and go forth to play in the woods.  Maybe it was time for a quick check of my favorite swamps to look in on the dragonfly situation. With this much humidity and heat there should be a large increase in their numbers (I hope).  It’s a reasonably short drive so I loaded up my gear and took off.

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I arrived at the sanctuary, parked the car, and stepped into the world of sweat bees, gnats, and those little mites that congregate around your head by the thousands.  I used half a can of the strongest bug spray I could find and it was of little help.

It’s common practice here in Maine for the horse farmers to cover the eyes of their horses with netting to keep the bugs from driving the horses crazy.  If it works for horses then why can’t it work for me.  I reached into my bag of goodies and found some netting made specifically to be worn over a baseball cap and then tied tightly at the neck.  It’s not a perfect solution but it will keep the gnats in the swamp out of my eyes and ears.  The rest of my body is up for grabs but even those damn mosquitos and ticks have to eat too.  Without a doubt I’ll be their lunch entrée.

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On my way to the swamp I have to pass through a few acres of milkweed plants. They’re just coming into bloom and in a few short weeks will be covered with visiting Monarch butterflies.  They love laying their eggs on the milkweed plants which contain a chemical that keeps predators from eating their eggs.  I’ll be back in a few weeks for their arrival which promises  a gang of excellent macro photographs.

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I arrived in the swamp covered with swarms of bugs and discovered to my delight a reasonable number of dragonflies flitting around.  I’ve found if you stand still in one place for a few minutes they tend to approach to check you out. These pictures were of a few that seemed to be purposely posing for me.

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I lasted almost an hour but the bugs made staying any longer impossible. I’ll be better prepared on my next visit and hope to obtain more photos of dragonflies and damselflies.  The variety of colors is absolutely amazing.

***WILDLIFE ALERT ***

(Sarcasm On) This Wildlife Alert arrived on my desk today from my better-half and I promised her I’d put out A BOTA (Be On the Lookout) alert for a herd of those terribly dangerous and ruthless gourd eating deer.  She plans on hanging some sort of crazy noise-maker in the garden to scare them off. Truthfully we’ve had deer eat almost everything in the garden at one time or another but not a single one has ever munched on a gourd.  She has a strange attraction for gourds which I still don’t understand.  Maybe I’ll build a blind for her to sit in near the garden and she can jump out in the middle of the night to scare the crap out of them. I promise to get lots of pictures if she actually does it. (Sarcasm Off)

07-30-2013   4 comments

Today turned into a real adventure quite by accident.  The sun was shining and I had no plans of any kind for a change.  My only chore was to deliver my better-half to work and to pick her up later in the afternoon.  I suppose I could have just worked around the house or even cut the grass but I wanted something a little more interesting.

I purchased a new Nikon SLR two weeks ago and I really needed to spend a little time learning how to use it.  I packed up my camera and the rest of my equipment and made my way to the marshland located along the coast. I arrived there in short order and made my preparations to enter the swamp.  I was there primarily to photograph dragonflies but I had a small problem. If I doused myself in Off then the dragonflies were sure not to come near me but if I didn’t use the Off I was sure to be eaten alive by thousands of mosquitos.  I used a moderate amount of the spray, picked up my camera and monopod and trekked into the swamps.

Photographing insects requires the use of a macro lens that then requires the use of a monopod to steady the camera to get that perfectly clear shot.  I have to say it sounds much easier than it actually is.  I sat crouched in that damn swamp for two hours because I’ve been told that patience is always necessary for any photographer.  It was close to eighty-five degrees with no breeze of any kind.  I began to sweat like I’d just run the Boston marathon.  Unfortunately bugs just love sweaty humans to buzz around and bother and then to sting when they’re swatted away.  It became quite difficult to sit quietly while surrounded by a few hundred of my newest friends. Photography Tip #1: Use as much bug spray as you can.  Take a damn bath in it if you must.

I managed between bites to take a number of shots but even the dragonflies were being difficult.  Due to my constant swatting of bugs I was apparently scaring them off  as well.  Everything was just freaking perfect.  Oh yeah, did I mention there are also snakes in that swamp.  As I squatted there I must have seen six or seven slithering in the waters around me.  Photography Tip #2:  Never wear sneakers when working in a swamp, it bothers the snakes.

I lasted as long as I could and actually was able to take a few dozen pictures and a few of them appear to be pretty good.  I’m really happy with the new camera and I’m sure we’ll have a long and happy relationship together.  It felt good to get out in the wild for a bit but it will probably take a few days for all of these bug bites to heal.   I can’t wait to get these photo’s onto my computer later so I can really see if there as good as I think they are.

All in all it was a fun day and I look forward to many more just like it before the snow flies. The downside to any really good day is returning to reality which always kind of sucks. I’ll pick up my better-half in a few minutes and then head home for dinner and a quiet night. 

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