CRAZIEST THING HAPPENED Wednesday morning as I hung laundry outside on the clothesline. I heard a scritch-scratch and looked up to see a female cardinal fluttering atop the metal chimney on our house. She would fly away, come back, land on the stack, fly away and then repeat the entire process.
I was baffled until I noticed a spider web the size of a car tire suspended between the chimney and the angled roof.
As I watched, wishing mightily that I had my camera in my hands, the cardinal flew toward the center of the cobweb where, even from the ground, I could see an oversized insect. Maybe the spider?
She flapped and hovered and poked at the web, trying to grab her breakfast.
About then I decided I had enough time to race inside to my office, grab my Canon and snap a picture. I was wrong. In the short time I went missing, the determined bird nabbed the trapped bug. Darn.
Have you ever seen anything like this?
AS LONG AS WE’RE TALKING BUGS, has your home been invaded by gnats—or whatever they are—which are attracted in the evening to flicked-on lights. Tuesday night, when I walked into the kitchen around 9, I found the floor pocked with these pesky winged creatures. I immediately summoned my husband.
“What am I supposed to do?” he asked.
I pulled a sexist comment from my brain: “You’re the man of the house. Protect me.”
He laughed, then laughed some more when I suggested sweeping them into a dustpan.
“They’ll fly away,” he said, wheeling out the vacuum cleaner, a bug’s version of an EF-5 tornado.
EARLIER IN THE EVENING my spouse saved me from two wasps wandering a window screen in the dining room, directly behind the chair where I dine.
“I don’t want to get stung,” I emphasized, reminding him of how my skin swells and itches every time a mosquito bites me. “What do you think would happen if I was stung by a wasp?”
He probably didn’t need the reminder as less than two weeks ago my right hand swelled to about twice its size (I might be exaggerating just a tiny bit, but not much) from two mosquito bites. That resulted in a trip to the doctor followed by a stop at the pharmacy. Those two bites set me back a couple hundred bucks. But at least the infection didn’t spread to my artificial hip, which would have cost me thousands.
Anyway, bottom line, my husband’s done a superb job as my personal Bug Buster. And whenever he’s not available, I have that cardinal as back-up.
FYI: Except for centipedes, I am not afraid of bugs and will deal with them whenever I must. However, I will avoid killing stinging insects if my bug-busting husband is available. Why risk getting stung?
VISIT THE BARNS OF SIBLEY COUNTY website by clicking here to learn more about Harriet Traxler, her photography and the barn books she’s published. She is also currently working on a book of historical fiction.
© Text copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Photo by Harriet Traxler