Friday, May 08, 2009

A Buggy Friday Five


RevGal Sophia writes:

As I was walking the beach today, I was surprised and delighted to find it swarming with ladybugs. The sweet little red beetles are one of my favorite insects and also my daughter's blogname--though as of this morning she was thinking of changing it to Butterfly. I'll keep you posted.

This got me thinking about spiritual insect trivia: Did you know that medieval mystics and theologians esteemed the bee for its dedicated work and transformation of ordinary ingredients into sweetness? That Spider Woman is an important creator Goddess to many Native American tribes? Or that Francis of Assisi was reminded of Jesus not only by lambs being led to slaughter, but also by worms (think "I am a worm and no man" from the Psalms)-- so he picked them up and took them out of stomping-vulnerable spots?!
In that spirit, this week's Friday Five is a magical mystery tour through God's garden of creepy crawlies!

1. Ladybugs or ladybirds? Pillbugs or roly-polys? Jesus bugs or water skeeters? Any other interesting regional or familial name variations?

Ladybugs; pillbugs; water skeeters; and of course the bane of northern climes, especially in coastal areas, the annoying little no-see-ums that fly up your nose and onto your eyeballs in the late spring.

2. Stomp on spiders, carry them outside, or peacefully co-exist?
I am in the carry-them-outside school. Fellow Traveler is in the "stomp first, ask questions later" school.

3. Favorite insect?
I think honeybees are my favorite -- they are so important to our environment, and they're so fascinating to watch. (Ever seen one do the "honeybee dance" to let her sisters know where the flowers are? I have...very cool.) I'd challenge my fellow gardeners reading this to grow more bee-friendly plants in their yards and gardens, to help our beleagured bee populations.

4. Least favorite?
It's a tossup between dirty, disease-bearing, disgusting cockroaches -- which have no redeeming qualities that I can think of -- and deerflies, which are a terrible, painful nuisance around here in mid-summer, and which can also act as vectors for blood-borne disease. Fortunately for me, cockroaches are relatively rare here in outstate Michigan except for scattered concentrations of human beings in apartments, dormitories and such. But I invariably get bitten by deerflies; I even have a scar on my upper arm from one such bite that somehow got infected and left an ugly souvenir.

5. Got any good bug stories to share?
Our Miss Gertie, who has become something of a precocious only child in the absence of her late dog-sister Cassie, loves to watch bugs. She'll sit under the maple tree next to our patio and intently watch the ants scurrying around underneath. My parents' old poodle mix Mitzi also loved ants; one day I saw her watching them on the sidewalk and wagging her tail: Hello, little buddies!

Bonus: One of my favorite bug books: Hope For the Flowers.

4 comments:

Barbara B. said...

That is an excellent idea about growing more bee-friendly plants!

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Deer flies are a pain the next day. I couldn't get the wedding ring on DH's ring finger at our wedding due to the swelling. So he got pinky-married.

Sophia said...

Oh, I forgot about Hope for the Flowers. Made a big impression on me in junior high convent school and there was a copy in the Catholic Worker where I lived while engaged. My sweetie used to call us Yellow and Stripe sometimes.

Love the bug-watching dogs!

Beth said...

Cool. Have you seen this news ? http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/24/214230