Well, it’s not the 8th plague…

It’s not exactly a “plague of locusts,” (or a locust at all), but since I missed out on the Northeast brood this year, one of the largest broods of cyclical cicadas, I guess it will have to do…

Found this guy, trying to escape a hungry bird in our "yard."

Found this guy, trying to escape a hungry bird in our “yard.”

Most people think cicadas are ugly or gross, but I think they're pretty cool looking.

Most people think cicadas are ugly or gross, but I think they’re pretty cool looking.

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Their loss, Our loss…

Watching the National Geographic “Deadly Dozen” series.  The African elephants used to roam most of Africa freely.  Between poaching and simply being forced off their territory by the advance of people, they are now relegated to a fraction of that space, mostly protected or preserve areas.

I can’t help but shake my head in frustration and disgust.  What we’ve done to this planet!  Trophy hunting and poaching and misinformed “population trimming” aside, the single-mindedness with which we’ve advanced our own species at the cost of every other species of flora and fauna on the planet is just…sad.   Destroying natural resources, destroying habitats, upsetting the ecological balance.  Even on a small scale it’s revolting.  I can’t go to my favorite local park without seeing litter everywhere.  And I think angrily at the faceless perpetrators every time , why do you get to enjoy this park and then trash it so others can’t enjoy it???

Last night on the way to volleyball I saw a large black animal on the side of the road.  I couldn’t look long, as I was driving, and at first I wasn’t sure whether it was a small cow  or just one of the largest dogs I’ve ever seen.  But it hurt my heart a little.  I figured it was probably someone’s pet.  Although I feel bad for most of the small furries I see on the side of the road, it usually hits me even harder if it’s a domestic animal.  But my main feelings behind it are the same.  No animal should ever have to die on the side of the road.  

It’s just not natural.  The road.  Especially the fast moving cars.  The animals certainly don’t regard the perils of our thoroughfare as they would a natural predator.

I’m not trying to be all tree-hugging and bleeding heart.  It’s true that it would be impossible not to disturb or displace some wildlife when building a dwelling or home, even just for ourselves.  It’s just the flagrant attitude of disregard for others, of our own species or any other, and the failure to recognize that eventually, their loss is our loss.

 

Arachnophobia: Is it any wonder “hate” is a synonym for “venom?”

I’m not generally one of those girly-girls that are afraid of bugs and spiders and snakes.  In fact, I used to trap and release the spiders in our house back in my home state.  Or if they were small ones up on the wall or something, I’d turn away and pretend I didn’t see them (make a break for it, little dude!)

tumblr_lti9hdqSNq1qb0o5co1_400

And we actually own a snake as a pet– in as much as anyone can own a snake– so creepy, slithery, crawling critters don’t really bother me.  The things that really “bug” me are the parasitic type things, the things that borrow into the skin, like ticks, and suck blood, like mosquitoes… and ticks.

But that kind a of changed when we moved to Kentucky a few springs ago.  The bugs out here just seem…heartier.  Bigger, more plentiful.  I was about five months pregnant when we first got out here, and I couldn’t seem to make it from the car to our rented house without picking up a tick.  Dear GOD, they were everywhere, even on the wooden porch!

And then summer rolled around and so did the spiders.  Not just one or two house or wolf spiders, but droves of brown recluse spiders!   I was finding five and six a day, just moseying across doorways or whatever.  One night I woke up in the middle of the night, still under the influence of Ambien, and groggily told hubby I felt something on me.  He promptly tried to shoo off a giant recluse crawling on my shoulder…and the spider promptly tried to crawl away down my back.  The only thing saving me from a total liquid meltdown was the fact that I was too drugged up on Ambien to freak out.

Then one day I grabbed a sundress off the top of my dresser and threw it on…only to throw it off again when I discovered a small spider chilling next to my boob.  I swear, a skanky pop star never dropped a dress so quick!  It was on the floor in a puddle of fabric in two seconds flat and hubby was looking at me in amused astonishment.  Luckily, brown recluses are generally non-aggressive, and supposedly go out of their way to avoid biting.

Anyway, it turned out our crawl space was filled with the things!  I was worried for myself, I was worried for the cats…and I’d had the baby by then.  We had Terminex come out, but I’ve never fully recovered from the emotional distress of the episode…

poor-spider-23

As is evidenced by the way I yelled like a bitch, then had to get control of full body shivers and a major case of the “heebie jeebies” and beg hubby to come kill the interloper  when I came across a spider in the laundry basket today.  And then my hand “felt funny,” and I’m almost certain I’ll have a raging case of necrotizing fasciitis by bedtime tonight!

And yet I still feel bad killing spiders.  I actually don’t hate or fear all spiders… mostly just those damn recluses, because even in our current apartment, they always turn up with the change of the season…like bad pennies.

God, I hope not...

God, I hope not…

See you in hell, arachnid demon spawn!

It’s A Beautiful Day

Days like this have a strange effect on me.  It’s beautiful: about sixty five degrees, bright, breezy.  The pretty little weeds that look like tiny flowers are all over the grass.  Birds are chirping loudly in the trees.  Weather like this, days like this, make me feel energized and uplifted.

photo credit: jennahsgarden.com/

photo credit: jennahsgarden.com

And yet they also make me feel nostalgic and strangely bitter-sweet.  The sights, the sounds, the feel and smell of the breeze drifting in my open window– are all like ghosts of my childhood, sneaking into the house of my mind through my five senses.  It’s subtle, because there’s not necessarily any one specific memory.  It’s more like a general and pervasive mood.  And it’s slightly depressing.

There’s some truth in the saying “You can’t go home again.”  I’ve thought about it before; in terms of my family, I can never go back to being that little girl that didn’t know that Uncle Jimmy* was an alcoholic or that Uncle Mark* used to beat Aunt Maggie up.  I can’t go back to being the little girl that picked violets in my grandmother’s huge backyard; that house was sold many, many years ago and my grandma died last May.

I’ll be 32 next month and sometimes I feel like my college and high school days were just yesterday.  Today I was outside watching my toddler run around in the grass.

It’s scary.  I blinked and got “old.”  What if I blink again and my daughter is grown up?  Blink once more and I’m old and about to die?  Maudlin thoughts like these remind me of my preteen days.  These thoughts are like a throwback to the confused kid I used to be, the one who stood looking out the window, with a vague feeling of seemingly no origin, a feeling of “something’s not right”– It was a time when my thoughts were often ruled by a nameless anxiety I didn’t understand.  I was preoccupied with the passage of time and how untenable it was.

And though I’m medicated and therefore better at being the master of my anxieties and fears, rather than the slave, it’s still something I think about.  And days like this seem to bring those feelings back in a very nonspecific, formless sport of way, almost more like an association than a complete thought.

But no amount of worrying or melancholy will change these things.  Time passes, things change, people grow old and die.  The best I can do is live every moment and live in the moment.  And today is a beautiful moment to live.

Red1 & Red2

A bleak day, cold winter wind,

And a single cardinal on a nude black branch,

The only color in a washed out day,

Brilliant and vital

As a drop of blood.

(2/23)

 

drop

 

 

 

 

 

Saw him again today,

Him or one just like him.

He saw me seeing him,

And he sang a little song,

Isn’t it strange that the day is

Wet and gray again?

Maybe he’s like me, and he

Likes it that way.(2/26)

RED1

* I wasn’t sure about publishing the initial poem…but then I saw him again today.  I thought he’d fly away when i went in to get my camera, but he was still there.  Regrettably, his vibrant color didn’t really come through in this pic.

DP: The House that Writing Built

“Writing Room,” hell!  If I find a genie to grant me a wish, I’m gonna have that motherfucker build me a whole house!

It would be in a remote location in the middle of nature somewhere.  Rustic, inviting, inspiring.  It’d look something like this:

Open air and a fire place? I think, yes!

Open air and a fire place? I think, yes!

The “veranda” (sounds much more stylish and conducive to writing than “porch”) would be the perfect place for temperate weather and chain smoking which I love to do when I write or read.  When I used to smoke more heavily, and indoors, my poor keyboard was littered with ashes from cigarettes I forgot to ash as I pattered away at the keys.

Inside would be cozy, but spacious, and well-stocked with wine.  And a hot tub.  Of  course there’d be a hot tub.  Writing is strenuous work.

genie

Oh shit, oh shit! nevermind!

Oh shit, oh shit! Nevermind!