Monday, July 11, 2005

BSB = Big Scary Bug

One of the chief reasons I chose a Botany concentration for my Biology degree, instead of a Zoology concentration, was my horror of bugs. The Zoology concentration required an Entomology class, which required an insect collection. While my friends were cheerfully pinning roaches inside a smelly shadow box, I was pressing flowers. When they proudly displayed their completed collections on the walls of their homes, I averted my eyes. The creepy crawlies give me the heebie jeebies.

Last June, we visited Cincinnati on a house-hunting trip. We toured the UC campus and took in the sights. I noticed small objects whirring by my head, but was unconcerned until an enormous, noisy bug with glowing red eyes landed on me. We had arrived in the middle of cicada season. The nasty things were everywhere. When one followed us into the car, I became frantic with the thought that it would tangle itself in my long hair and torment me by flinging itself against my head and chattering in my ear. I inched as far away from the bug as I could and helplessly wept until Mike pulled onto the freeway shoulder (or “berm” as it’s referred to here) and ejected the monster from the car. Until I learned that the cicadas only appear every 17 years or so, I seriously doubted whether we could make our home in Cincinnati.

As I’ve become engrossed in gardening, I haven’t become any more tolerant of bugs. I’ve steeled myself to touching earthworms, but potato bugs still make me squeamish. The larger the bug, the larger my reaction. You can imagine how I felt to find this fine fellow on my coreopsis.

I froze. My scalp prickled. My heart began racing. (Look at those claws!) I backed away from the flowers, fixing my eyes on that loathsome beast. If it so much as twitched, I was ready to flee, or faint dead away. The further I moved from the horror, the less power it had over me. Eventually, the compulsion to document its evil overcame me. I managed to reapproach and then face the demon long enough to take a photo. Perhaps I’m making strides against my bug phobia after all.

(I haven’t progressed far enough to include my thumb in the photo for reference. However, please believe me when I say that this sucker was at least 1.25 inches long.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh!!! I can hear cicadas in the trees when the sun is shining, but I've never met one up close. I would have cried, too!

3:00 PM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

I don't mind insects in general but slimy ones like slugs and grubs gross me out. I don't like touching them.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

This is just an exoskeleton. The real deal shed this and flew away.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Dallas said...

Eww, I agree with you. I was in Bloomington, IN last Summer when Brood X crawled up from the ground for the 17yr revival. They were everywhere - you literally could not take a step without stepping on one.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

Awww...Sylvana. You've given away the ending to my sequel: Kasmira vs. BSB! It was, indeed, just an empty shell. However, I thought myself very brave as I wacked it with a trowel.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Scott in Washington said...

Hey! Now my head itches!

I hate the creepy crawlies too - don't like to admit it, but it's true...

11:19 AM  

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