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It Bugs me…

‘Tis the season of insects!  I wrote about stink bugs this past winter and had no idea I would be facing a such a fascinating new invasion of bug life this summer.

Ants of every size and shape (within the confines of ant body-type) are crawling across the kitchen counters and out from under carpets.  Their cousins are building small villages and landscapes in my yard.  The last of the peonies means the end of my bringing a whole new culture of the little beasts into the house every morning on my cut blooms.

Bees, yes I’m making a hobby of the honey bees, but I’ve also started to notice all the other types that are humming by.  Bumblebees are solitary souls who live alone and don’t make honey.  Hornets and wasps look like evil, skinny stepmothers from a fairy tale.  Tiny sweat bees hover around my hair.

The dragonflies have also arrived in a wide array of colors and shapes.  The Eastern Pondhawk is the most abundant.  I have always associated dragonflies, damselflies and darning needles with lakes and streams, as I see them most often when kayaking.  Now they are appearing in my garden and around the hive.

Flies are just a natural by-product of summer.  Here in New Hampshire we are known for our giant and plentiful mosquitoes, deer flies, and the ever popular Black Flies.  An old farmer’s myth states that Black Flies arrive on Mother’s Day and disappear on Father’s Day.  They are tiny, hard biting and appear in clouds when you are trying to work outside.  This year we missed the annual invasion, probably due to the cool weather (we had snow flakes on Memorial Day). The other flies are here but not as abundant as usual.  In particular, I have noticed at the barn,  the stable flies and deer flies are much more manageable.  I may be speaking too soon, as they could always come out with a frenzy in July.

Spiders are not my favorite.  I hate the webs they weave that catch all the dust and detritus floating around my home.  Nothing like finishing a good cleaning job and having your eye distracted by a glob of dust and hair caught in a web just out of reach.  I will now see that every time I walk into the room until I manage to swat it down.

Butterflies and moths are abundant this year.  I have counted at least a dozen different species as they share the flowers with the bees. The loveliest and most prolific are the Monarchs.  I was concerned last year when the state of New Hampshire began hanging purple traps in the trees along the roadside. shaped like a box-kite.  These colorful additions, shaped like box kites, are installed to help monitor the spread of the highly destructive Emerald Ash Beetle.  Unfortunately, traps I saw and looked at up close, were covered in butterflies lured to the sticky bait.

Summer bugs provide endless hours of entertainment if you sit quietly and observe the life around you.

Alice helping me check the bees

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