Friday, May 6, 2011


Bugs..................................make me smile.

Oh, who am I trying to kid?  Anyone who knows me knows that's just not the truth. Anyone who has followed my move very much at all knows I have an inside out and outside in bathroom that is very bug friendly.  Every single day before I shower, I remove and shake out the throw rugs, sweep and mop the floors and light a citronella candle at least 15 minutes before exposing a huge mass of raw naked skin to whatever lurks in the shadows and shower curtain.   It's a lot of work but I'm retired.   I have time.

Early this morning, around 5 a.m., I was confronted with "mas grande rojo" ants both in and out of the toilet, trailing on the floor and into the shower.   I'm past the point of screaming and have taken on a Rambo attitude.   I pulled everything out, including rugs, toilet paper, candles, toiletries (I am a girl), and soap, ran to get the water house and sprayed the hell out of that bathroom.   Everything drowned.   And I mean everything.   I later found out the groundskeeper had swept an ant hill over the balcony of the common area right above my bathroom the night before.   I am not happy but at least it was temporary.

Whenever you live in a place with such ease of agriculture and amazingly beautiful natural fauna, you can expect bugs.   Yin and yang so to speak.   I read just a day or so ago that Einstein said without bees, the earth in its present form would last at most, four years.   Without even mentioning honey and pollen, think of a world without beans, tomatoes, onions, and carrots as well as hundreds of other vegetables, oilseeds and fruits that are dependent on bees for pollination.   Even livestock depend on bee pollination of forage plants like clover.   There is no human activity known that could replace the work of bees but it is largely taken for granted.  Without them fruits and vegetables are misshapen, tasteless and yield fewer seeds.

With this in mind, today, as I walked into town with Amber in tow, we were suddenly swarmed by bees.   Just yesterday I am reading about the benefits of bees and I get attacked today.   It had to be a test.  I first noticed Amber reacting frantically and I then started to see the small brown and yellow insects covering her fur.   I stopped walking and started swatting them off her as hard as I could.   Of course, we must have been standing there right in the path because it was getting worse!!  Some boys walked by and wanted to help but  then they pointed out that we were standing right in the line of fire!! Amber and I ran about a half block when I again stopped to swat at her fur until I saw no more.

We continued to walk until we got to the cyber cafe where I needed to print a few documents I had to sign and email back to someone in Texas.   While standing in the cyber cafe I started getting the strange sensation I was not alone.   I tossed Amber's leash to one of the clerks and yelled loudly, "Uno minuto, por favor!!!" and ran to the bathroom whereupon I whipped off my pants, turned them inside out and shook them hard.   Out flew three woozy bees that I had carried along for six blocks.   The clerk had no clue what was wrong and knocked on the bathroom door, "Senora, esta bien??"   I managed a very weak "Si, esta bien", put my pants back on and stumbled back out where everyone was staring.  My spanish is just too weak to explain what had just happened so I just reclaimed my confused little Amber, paid for my copies and left.   Know this, though, that people in Vilcabamba are very lucky I didn't feel my deadbeat freeloaders when I was in the town square where there was not a bathroom close by.  Very lucky indeed.

It could be worse.   As I was writing this blog, my History facebook page posted a story about how fossils have been found from fifty million years ago of giant ants the size of hummingbirds in both Germany and Wyoming which were known to have tropical climates during that time.  Hmmmm.   I live in a tropical climate.  Anyone want to help build me a moat?

Beautiful orange butterfly taken by a friend of mine in the hills overlooking Vilcabamba:

His name is Leroy Brown.  Big Bad Leroy Brown.

This happened when I first moved into my apartment I'm in now.   I wasn't happy then either.  But we siliconed the living hell out of the kitchen.   All is well now.

Some bugs, like this caterpillar, are just plain beautiful.