Friday, June 17, 2011


Okay. So let me tell you about the chaos that was my life this spring. First of all, the cicadas. These strange, locust-like, enormous insects are common throughout the South. They don’t seem to do much other than make a faint buzzing sound which is sort of like a soundtrack to hot, hazy days of summer in Missouri. Seeing as I spend most of my summer out of Missouri, I have no hard feelings towards these little buggers. However, every 13 years, there are these epic cicadas that come into being…they actually live underground for 13 years, come out to mate (buzzing = mating call), and then they die, leaving their carcasses everywhere. This was lucky #13 for these cicadas, and they seemed to come out of nowhere at the end of May. All of the sudden I would be walking around and see them covering the trunk of a tree, or my car, or flying around…and they aren’t harmful or poisonous, but they do love to fly up and land on you, sending you into the “I’ve been bugged” dance. You know you laugh when you see others doing it, but then it happens to you and you feel like an idiot. And the buzzing, worst at mid-afternoon, was like a million lawn mowers going off for hours.
So then there were the swallows. Beautiful birds, but not when they build a nest right above your front door and dive bomb you everytime you try to go in and out.

And then, the deer. Bambo, if you will. Last year, there was an aggressive mama that laid a fawn near the apartments where I leave. She was unusually protective, tracking and stalking dogs well over a half mile from where she was when they were being walked, even if they weren’t going near her fawn. If I came out of my door, she was there. You were lucky if she didn’t charge the dog. She would follow you, and it got so bad that state conservation officers had to come out and try to trap her. Eventually she ended up killing a small dog, and the deer was put down. Imagine my distress this spring when another deer showed up, doing the same things. It got so that I had to put my dog in the car 3 times a day and drive her somewhere else to walk safely. Not fun.

Then of course, the storms and tornado warnings were relentless in May. And to put the cherry on top, we had a small earthquake a few nights before I was to leave. I woke up around 3am one morning and felt shaking – at first it felt like thunder or a train going by the window. Then I realized that it could be an earthquake – and I promptly went back to sleep. In the morning the news confirmed it – it was about a 4.0 some 120 miles away. At the time I thought I was maybe dreaming so it wasn’t scary, but any bigger and I think I would have been freaked.

So needless to say, I’m happy to be out of that and into this for the rest of the summer. Cool nights, lakeside sunsets, bonfires, and beach days await.

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