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Showing posts from 2005

Splatometer

Walking my dog every day around this small Wairarapa town, it seems to me there are very few insects around; the environment seems so sterile somehow. Inspecting my car after driving around the countryside, the windscreens and grill are relatively free of dead insects, no splattered moths and squashed flies and wasps and bees. Are insects disappearing? And what might be the consequences for our birds? When did I last see a stick insect, a dragonfly, a lady bird, or one of those brilliant native hunting wasps? And are moths as numerous as they used to be? So what is happening? Does anyone care? After all bugs are everyone’s bug bear!

Yesterday I watched a thrush stumble away from my dog, making me think that perhaps it had picked up a poisoned slug, having watched a neighbor put out slug bait the day before. And every night I watch the television advertisements encouraging people to slaughter everything that moves in and around the house. We have got very efficient at destroying bug…

Credo

High summer and everything intent upon breeding and increasing their numbers. Bugs everywhere! The "summer" flies are intent upon taking the food before it reaches my mouth. The Mason wasps, mud daubers, are loudly building their nests, not only under chairs but also in the folds of the drapes, while spiders threaten to totally envelop the cottage with their webs.
In the evening, if I dare to leave the windows open, I am bombarded by moths and click beetles and bugged by Huhu beetles. Raucous cicadas rudely awaken me in the morning while white butterfly caterpillars chomp their way through the cabbages.

But then there are the gorgeous and the exotic creatures which stop me in my tracks and dissipate any hostility towards the pestiferous. They send me off to the books to try and make an identification.

Gorgeous steely blue lady birds which I can always find in the lime tree. A tiny native bee in the hay paddocks which I have yet to identify and a strange creature I always …