Monday, August 28, 2006

If They Weren't Dumb, They Wouldn't Be Insects...

Lately, I've been consigned to cutting wild hay up on our meadows. Consider it just like mowing lawn, only my lawn mower is air conditioned and cuts a 14 foot swath. But I digress...

Anyway, as I've been cutting along, I couldn't help but notice an abundance of grass hoppers. I don't care for grasshoppers. They eat my grass, and I'd rather they didn't. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do except spray or rely on biological controls. Spraying costs megabucks and takes time and effort. Biological controls basically mean letting nature take it's course, and that requires no money or time. I prefer the latter.

One of the main predators of grasshoppers is preying manti, and we've got quite a few of them. Now I've always liked preying manti, and since they kill bad bugs, killing them isn't what I'd call appealing, but here's the problem...

My swather has a conditioner on it. A conditioner is basically two rollers that are designed to squish the juice out of the hay and come toghether with several hundred pounds of force. The odds of a bug surviving, are fairly slim, so that means if they survive, they've got to fly out of the way or else I've got to move them.

If I stopped and "herded" every one out of the way, I'd still be there in December, so I just stop when I see a chance to save the really big ones. Other than those, I just avert my eyes and keep right on cutting.

I happened to look down and noticed a huge one coming right toward me on the hay, so I hit the skids and got out. I walked around to the front, found the big guy/gal and gently placed her on the next windrow over, out of harm's way. Then I got back into my swather, fired it up and started to cut the hay.

Out of my peripheral vision, I noticed this glorious creature that I'd just saved from impending doom take off from the windrow, fly directly in front of me, and then drop perfectly into my header committing the bug's equivalent of sipoku. *sigh*


Today's Mystery Lyric:

Imagine me and you, I do,
I think about you, day and night, it's only right,
To think about the girl you love,
And hold her tight...


Anonymous bc said...

If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine

Considering that there were a few bands that recorded that song....

Its sad that the good bugs have to go with the bad ones. This summer we had those gypsy moths again but not nearly as bad because they released the flies that sting the catepillers. But then we had to suffer the flies for a while.

8/28/2006 9:02 PM  
Blogger fermicat said...

Speaking of bugs, today I learned that cockroaches will happily dine on dead snake. How did I learn this? Saw it live, right on my carport!

On the plus side, the kitten's decided chasing and eating spiders and insects is fun, so she's keeping the house pest-free. Unfortunately for the bugs, she mutilates them before getting down to the eating part, because it's more fun for her that way.

8/28/2006 9:09 PM  
Blogger trinamick said...

Simple Plan just remade that again. I think they should have left it alone.

I hate grasshoppers with the fire of a thousand suns. We haven't had that many this year, though. Instead, we have been infested with locusts. Judgment Day anyone?

8/29/2006 12:52 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

My FAVORITE song in the world, "Happy Together" by the Turtles!

And I also like to save the life of bugs. You're a good guy, my friend.

8/29/2006 4:38 PM  
Blogger LL said...

So what you're all saying is that the song was entirely too easy... Hmmm...

I don't know what I find more disheartening fermi, the fact that you have cockroaches or dead snakes on your floor...

Locusts eh? When it starts raining frogs or blood, I'd say it's time to leave Hicksville/Egypt.

Beth, I'm just a softie. Does that mean you're not going to hold the 100 or so I swathed up against me?

8/29/2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger fermicat said...

It was on my carport! I don't have dead snakes in my house.

8/29/2006 6:50 PM  
Blogger LL said...

You sure? :P

I misread your comment. Carpet, carport... it's pert near the same thing. ;)

Word ver: blepal -- What the censors do when Al curses.

8/29/2006 9:47 PM  
Blogger fermicat said...

Ah, now I see. But I don't have any carpet. This house had carpet until the day we bought it. A few hours after closing we were busy ripping the old nasty carpet off the hardwood floors. That was a hard day!

8/29/2006 10:21 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

The song lyrics are almost never too easy for me. I wonder if my problem is that I always have my headphones on listening to something else, so it's hard for me to get get the lyrics into my head. Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So, do you buy praying manti? I'm a city girl.

8/30/2006 6:52 AM  
Blogger LL said...

You can. I don't. They just hatch out of cocoons and spawn more underlings when the mood is right.

Other than that, I can't tell you too much about them.

8/30/2006 2:29 PM  
Blogger fermicat said...

I saw a mantis laying (err, more like extruding) an egg sac once. It was interesting. The sac only lasted until the neighborhood kids found it. There were no survivors.

8/30/2006 5:44 PM  

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