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View from Cavtat Harbor toward the Hills The owner of Villa Olav & Jo  say their goodbyes Today we left Dubrovnik, fly...

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Damn it. A couple of weeks ago my home experienced the Amityville Horror syndrome, invaded by a plague of bot flies.

Some honey bees obviously have issues

On Saturday morning I was out birding with friends, at one with nature - or so I thought - minding my own business, looking through my binocs and a Honey Bee - obviously a bee with issues - stung me!

Two realms of the buggy world had taken issue with me but I shrugged it off.

Flash forward to Monday night. I was filling my new composter with a bunch of wilted lettuce. Needing some dried leaf litter, I dragged over a downed limb from the Trident Maple tree. I stood barefoot; it was after dark so I stood in the patio light, stripping off the crackly leaves into the composter. It suddenly occurred to me I ought to look down. ARRRGGGHHHHHH!


A b'jillion little black & red bugs raced around my toes in the dead leaves. I was suddenly doing 'the Dance of the Bugs'. Thank heavens it was bugs, because had it been a Mantis or worse, it would have been the first, and the last time I could go near the composter.

It gets worse. Tonight I needed to water the patio plants. I cheerily headed for my prized, heritage Russian tomatoes.



I shrieked out a string of very naughty words. The damned worm was like 37 feet long -honestly it was very nearly that big- and it was stuffing it's chubby cheeks with my tomato plant!

I was stunned; the worm was holding on to the leaf stem with HUGE feel that looked sort of like the thing was wearing those Dr. Denton footsie pajamas like kids wear. Did I say it was stuffing it's fat cheeks with my tomato plant? I stuffed the loathsome creatures into a jar and hunted around the plant for more worms but could only find one more. HOW THE EFF did something that HUGE remain hidden from me long enough to get that big?

GAH! I spoke to several savvy gardening friends during the week and they told me the damned Horned Worms in their adult form are night-flying Hawk Moths. I was amazed. Hawk moths are so huge they're often mistaken for hummingbirds! Here's what the effing things look like (p.s., I'm working on my buggie anger issues). The damned things can sniff out tomatoes on which to lay their disgusting little caterpillar producing eggs.

EVIL Tobacco Hawk Moth pretending to be a Hummingbird

Everyone I told about the worms (which is half the population of Northern California) said the same thing. You never notice the damned worms until they are large enough to arm wrestle your for your tomato plant. Apparently the young worms are extremely well camouflaged - the little shites.

So my question is, WHY am I being punished with a plague of insects??? Do I not support the Nature Conservancy? Don't I gently take stray green lace-wings and crane flies and carry them tenderly, outside to safety? Did I not see a Black-widow spider at the light rail station this morning and I did NOT step on the spider (as it was minding its own business)????Next there will be a plague of toads in the pool and blood when I turn on the kitchen tap.

[Management has received word that Ms. Miller's Niece Doris is also experiencing a plague of her own - a web-building spider, the size of a Buick has taken up residence just outside her Brooklyn window. When will it all end????]


  1. Farce? Nope, every six-leggedy bit of it is true!

    How is your SPY-DAH doing?