Bug Love

September 7, 2010

I went out at dusk and found that the light was too dim for good exposures, so I turned on my flash. Wow. What a difference. The photos look like Blair Witch Project and when I made a photo of the whole house, it looked downright haunted, deep in the shadows.

This past weekend, I wanted to save my guests from an invasion of mosquitos. I looked at a yard fogger and then recoiled in horror. Yard foggers don’t just kill mosquitos. They kill all flying insects and probably a lot of them just sitting innocently on the ground as well. My head starting getting woozy and I put the can back quickly, taking deep cleansing breaths. Kill my busy, busy bees? Bees have enough problems already without me getting involved! Kill my sex-loving milkweed bugs? Kill my shiny spiders and happy skippers and bright admirals and majestic monarchs and glossy black ants and red ants and all the other delightful beneficial insects just to keep a few people from being bit by a mosquito? Not in this yard! I bought two cans of insect repellent – it repels them, doesn’t kill them – and called it a day.

This is why I have lawn care disaster on the east side of the house. To kill a weed means to kill beneficial plants, put toxic chemicals into the soil, harm my bugs and inevitably, myself and my family. I’m trying to be at one with nature, to create safe havens for birds and bugs and (god help me) bunnies. So there will be mosquitos, there will be sticker bushes and there will be Damn Rabbits.

The beans are way up now, looking like real plants and not just sprouts. There are peppers, peppers and peppers. I found a football in the pin oak bed, left over from the party. I also found a beer bottle in the Neither Here Nor There bed and am still crunching upon the occasional pinecone.

The pampas grass begins to fuzz out, the balloon flowers are done, with rare, scattered small blooms making one last effort. The hydrangeas that have looked so healthy up to know have chosen to wilt like Camille on her couch, looking (as usual) beyond relief. I water and water and water, giving the third hydrangea a good soak for good measure. The fall clematis begins to creep open, stars that smell like heaven.

I had knocked down a spiderweb on the outside sill of the bathroom window. It was huge, taking up a substantial amount of the window and looking like that haunted house. It is back already and I think thicker than before. I pass the butterfly garden and the bees barely notice me, go about their buzzing, humming and collecting. They really don’t know how good they have it here.


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