I got your Cicada right here

I don’t like Cicadas (though I will argue the name should be pronounced with a hard ‘K’ sound for the same reason that Celtic is pronounced that way.  “Seltic” is just wrong.  So is “Sicada.”


The reason I don’t like them is not because they’re “bugs” but because they’re the heralds of hot weather.  I don’t get to spend as much time in water like I could as a child and so hot weather is not something I really look forward to.

As bugs, I think they’re great.  All googly eyes with spikey legs and they make that great sound which you’d so hate to hear in the middle of the night when you know there’s an axe murderer in the woods.

I have an axe!

I was recently lamenting to Susan that I’ve never seen a Kikada Cicada come up out of the ground and molt.  I’ve only ever seen their husks hanging onto a tree trunk or leaf or seen the mature cicada BUZZING away in a tree or from between my fingers.

She’s actually been saved from one by our dog Sophie.  I’ll let her tell that story.

Mine is much more mundane.

I was on a walk this morning with Chip the Wonder Dog, when I saw a critter wobbling across the sidewalk.

It turned out to be a recently unearthed Cicada headed toward the nearest tree.

Being the kind of guy I am I gently picked him up and placed him (Her. It. Whatever) at the base of the tree.

It was quite dark so I continued on my walk.  I wonder if he’s molted…

Weekend musing’s. Sometimes out loud

Susan: (while walking Chip) isn’t he cute?

Me: You’re cute, he’s adorable,

Susan: Gee thanks.

Susan: Is it still a white trash lawn ornament if the homeowners aren’t white?

Sign seen on Facebook “If you think you’re too small to have an impact try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.”
Me: Mosquitos have a built in weapon. So that sign is basically telling me to go through life with a sharp pointy weapon and get all stabby when I want to make change happen.

I guess I can do that.

Susan: be careful walking near the Cyprus, it’ll get in your fur.

Me: I’m not Chip.

Susan: Be careful anyway.

Seen at the library: “Brown bag book club”
Do they bring their own lunch or is it a club for books that can only be carried in a brown bag?
If the latter do they have the club meeting out in the open or do they use a back room? Do they leave the lights down low and wear masks so nobody knows who they are?

Peenyo nowarr

Susan: We have to water right after applying the pre-emergent and we can’t water until $%#^ Thursday.

Me: maybe we can just set the yard on fire come spring and re-seed.

Better living through chemistry (not) …

or “Look what I found in Dad’s garage!”Chlordane front label 02

If you live long enough, especially in recent decades, the world moves out from under your feet and a new one slips into place. My grandmother knew how to make fried chicken, starting by catching a hen in the back yard and wringing its neck. Mother played with little droplets of mercury brought home by Grandaddy the chemist. Did you know you can turn a gold ring silver by putting mercury on it? Cool! The color lasts until the mercury rubs off, on your skin of course. I remember adding freon to a ’74 Mustang by hooking up hoses and setting the can in a pan of hot water out in the driveway where the gas could fly away to widen the nearest hole in the ozone layer. What? It was fun to feel how cold the can got.

Nowadays folks buy boxes of ladybugs to eat aphids in their gardens, rather than seasoning the leaves with Sevin Dust. Maybe you, dear reader, wouldn’t dream of using chemicals in your yard, but recent generations were happy to use the little gem below — the best thing ever for killing termites. Take a gander at this bottle of sure-fire pest control.

vcm_s_kf_repr_355x480Chlordane by Green Light

Directions for Use [excerpts]
Regular Mixture: 8 ounces per 25 gallons of water or 1 tablespoon per 1½ gallons of water.

LAWN PESTS: For ants, sod webworms, fall armyworms, crickets, mole crickets, tarantulas, scorpions, fleas, chiggers, wood ticks, sow bugs, spray regular mixture at the rate of 1 gallon per 100 square feet. Do not water lawn for several days afterwards.

SARCOPTIC MANGE MITES and LICE ON DOGS: Wet animal thoroughly with regular mixture. Do not spray dog if suckling young, nor on cats.

WARNING: Do not use on humans or cats. Contact with skin can cause toxic symptoms. Avoid breathing spray mist and skin contact. In case of spillage on skin, wash immediately with soap and water. Avoid contamination of feed and foodstuffs. Harmful if swallowed. Keep out of reach of children. [etc, etc..]

Here’s the good bit…

This product will kill fish and wildlife. Birds feeding on treated areas may be harmed. Keep out of lakes, ponds, and streams. This product is toxic to bees and should not be applied when bees are actively visiting the area.

So it kills bugs but – oopsie – it also kills wildlife? It’s OK to apply it all over the dog, but don’t get it on the cat? Is the warning not to water the lawn for several days supposed to “keep out of lakes, ponds, and streams”?

As startling as these statements printed on the label are, the effects we now know about are downright chilling. “Documented health problems can include child cancers, neuroblastoma, leukemia, chronic infections, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, infertility, neurological disorders, aggression and depression.” Holy crap!

Uh, now I have a nearly full bottle of this on my desk. Which I’m afraid to touch. At least it’s no longer in the hands of someone who might see it as “just the thing” for that recurring termite problem.