Archive for the ‘insects’ Tag

10/19/2022 “Creepy”   Leave a comment

There aren’t many things that make my skin crawl but some insects can really creep me out. Many people fear snakes and thank god I’m not one of them. This planet is covered with every sort of creature and there are still many we haven’t discovered. That thought creeps me out as well. I hate waking up in the morning and occasionally finding bug bites on my body . . . ooooh! They say spiders love to visit us stupid humans while we sleep. I thought I’d pass along a few more facts to help you sleep, so here are some creepy facts about some really creepy things.

  • The female salamander inseminates herself. At mating time the male deposits a conical mass of sperm covered in a jellylike substance. The female then draws the jelly into herself, and in doing so fertilizes her own eggs.
  • Bombyx mori, a silkworm moth, has been cultivated for so long that it can no longer exist without human care. Because it has been domesticated, it has lost the ability to fly.
  • Some insects, after their head is severed, may live for is much as a year. They react automatically to light, temperature, humidity, chemicals, and other stimuli.
  • There are locusts that have an adult lifespan of only a few weeks or so, after having lived in the ground as grubs for 15 years.
  • There is an average of 50,000 spiders per acre in green areas. Essential to the balance of nature, spiders annually destroy 100 times their number in insects.

  • Snails produce a colorless, sticky discharge that forms a protective carpet under them as they travel along. The discharge is so effective that snails can crawl along the edge of a razor without cutting themselves.
  • Cockroaches have quite a capacity for survival. If the head of one is removed carefully, so as to prevent them from bleeding to death, the cockroach can survive for several weeks. When it dies, it is from starvation.
  • There are more different kinds of insects in existence today than the total of all kinds of all other animals put together.
  • The male praying mantis Literally loses his head after courting the female. The latter is known to decapitate the earnest suitor, and she often completely devours him.
  • Trinervitermes, a species of termites that is native to the African savanna, builds mountains that are only about 12 inches high. However, the termites bore shaft deep into the ground for access to water. Holes have been found below these termite mounds that go more than 130 feet into the earth.


08-02-2013   2 comments

Gardening.  It sounds so easy but in reality it’s not.  I’d probably be more obsessed with it if I were a full fledged farmer who was supporting his family with what he could successfully produce.  Being a part-time gardener gives me a great deal of satisfaction and almost as much aggravation.

Each spring my better-half and I spend a lot of time deciding what to grow, soil preparation, and how to process the things we’ll be consuming next winter. One of our goals has always been to grow what we want without the use of insecticides and other chemicals.  To do that successfully for a couple of amateurs is difficult and at times impossible.

This year the weather’s been fairly well balanced with enough rain to keep watering to a minimum.  Along with sufficient amounts of water comes sufficient amounts of slugs, bugs, grubs, and other visiting wildlife.  It then becomes a full time job to maintain a decent level of control over the garden.  Unforeseen problems make themselves known without warning and must be dealt with as quickly as possible.

For instance, I use a black fabric to cover the garden to prevent weeds from taking over.  The fabric is expensive but in the long run will save hours of unnecessary efforts throughout the summer.  Not this year.  I bought what I thought was a product that will hinder weeds and allow water and nutrients to seep through.  Buyer Beware.  We are now more than half way through the growing season and my fabric purchase was a total scam.  The weeds have grown under the fabric and now have penetrated into the sunlight.  The fabric has virtually dissolved into nothingness in spots.  This will make my end-of-season cleanup extremely difficult and time consuming.  My only thought right now is that Home Depot blows. How can such a large company supply a product of such low caliber without some sort of pretesting before it hits the shelves. I guess I’ll be just like the prodigal returning to Lowe’s with my tail between my legs.

Let me tell you a little something about slugs.  Not only are they disgusting, there are millions of them and they’re always hungry.  They can strip a garden in short order if not controlled by insecticides.  This year we were forced to give in and use a commercial product to kill as many of those little bastards as possible.  I won’t even begin to explain my thoughts on the effing tomato worms.  They’re green, voracious, fat, and make a satisfying "pop" when you step on them.

The cucumber patch is loaded already with dozens of future pickles and hundreds of blooms indicating a lot of canning in my future. Tomorrow will be my first official canning day of 2013.  With any luck I’ll be canning approximates 15 pints of hot Bread & Butter pickles and four experimental pints of Kool Aid pickles.  The Kool Aid pickles are something new I’m trying where you mix your dill brine with a double package of Cherry Kool Aid.  It gives you a kosher dill pickle with a sweet cherry taste in a bright red pickle.  It sounds crazy I know but a mixture of sweet and sour is one of my favorite taste combinations.  I just hope it works and isn’t a little too bizarre making people afraid to even try it.  We shall see.

I guess I can stop complaining now.  I’ll get a good nights sleep and be ready to hit the ground running in the morning.  A day of hot boiling water, pots of brine, and a huge pile of sliced cucumbers and jalapeño peppers.  A fun day to be sure.  The Fall harvest is finally beginning.

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