My Secret Fascination with Insects

I mentioned aphids a few months back, but I didn’t mention how the ladybug larva/aphid confusion began.  When I was about six or seven, someone gave me a “bug box” and an accompanying “bug book,” with which I could identify the various bugs I caught in the box.  We had a big yard, and my collection of bugs mostly consisted of daddy-long-legs (which is a ridiculous name now), ladybugs (which my sister and I would try to sell to our neighbors), ladybug larva (which I thought were aphids and therefore food for the ladybugs, not realizing the implicit cannibalism of this error), and roly-polies.  Obviously I never learned any proper names.

When we moved to Colorado, there were new bugs — namely, chachos (also called sun spiders, and apparently “chacho” is a local name).   Anyway, they were scary.  I’ve seen big spiders in the south, but otherwise nothing new for the past 13 years or so…

…Until last night, when I saw my first fireflies.  At first I wondered if I was hallucinating (sometimes I’ll get lightheaded if I get up too fast and see little stars), but I wasn’t.  They hover a foot or two above the ground at dusk and light up for a second or so…  And the fabulous thing about them is that they’re incredibly slow!  I’m not particularly coordinated, but I’m quite certain I could catch one with my hands without too much effort.  And they’re all over Indiana.

Indiana…  I’m in Bloomington right now at a workshop.  I’ve been looking forward to the workshop all year, but not particularly looking forward to being in Indiana for a week in late June.  But it’s really not half bad.  The campus is gorgeous, and I think I kind of like humidity.  My reasons?  1.) I have an excuse for my crappy hair, 2.) my skin is happy, 3.) everything is fabulously green, and 4.) there are fireflies.

The downside is that internet access is relatively hard to come by, so I may not be posting a whole lot between now and when I get back next weekend.


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