Having spent a day photographing bugs and other creatures outdoors, I was surprised to find while sweeping the hallway (a surprise unto itself) that I was witness to a battle for life.

Thus, I present the inside insects (arachnids) or in-sects.

Crunchies in a ravine

You had to know these were coming…more creepy crawly crunchies from my recent walk through the woods.

A Bug(gy) Life

I run toward bees, not away...and they me, it seems

I run toward bees, not away…and they me, it seems

There is a scene early in the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective where Ace calls out to all of the animals living in his apartment and they swarm from every crevice to give him the world’s biggest group hug (scene was totally ripped off in Evan Almighty). Well, every once in a while (aka daily), I feel the same way with insects.

Insects—and here I also include arachnids—love me. I don’t know why, they just do.

The best I can figure is that there is something in my personal chemistry—blood, sweat, breath, pheromones—that drives bugs wild.

When I go to the local beach to work—hard life, I know—I cannot sit on a bench for much more than an hour before I become a buffet for biting flies. And when I get home from the local park or ravine, I invariably find a couple small beetle hitchhikers somewhere on my clothing. That I have not yet contracted Lyme disease eludes me, although I am grateful, because that shit’s nasty.

When my grandmother’s seniors’ complex became host to a bed bug invasion, I became the canary in a coal mine. After her place had been sprayed, it was my duty to sit on her couch and see if the fumigation had worked. If there was a bed bug within 1 km of her apartment, it would find me within 10 minutes and leave its mark as a large red welt. I was bed bug fly paper.

As luck would have it, I also seem to attract spiders, which is fine as long as they focus their attentions on the various flies and other critters and not on me. So far, so good.

Perhaps this life-long attention from creepy crawlies has made me immune to the sociological ick-factor and has in fact turned into a fascination with them, as my many photographic blog posts would attest. In short, I like bugs. (I’m not quite ready for a love connection.)

On one of my recent walks through a local ravine, I ran into a young gentleman who also wandered the woods with a camera. As the conversation proceeded, we shared our interests—his was birds. When I told him mine was bugs, he was confused. It made no sense to him that anyone would be interested in insects. He wasn’t questioning my sanity, just my logic.

Other people who wander with me, however, do question my sanity as I approach a flower bed covered in bees rather than run the other way as they do. Or as I walk into a swarm of dragonflies rather than swat them away as a nuisance.

I wish I could explain my interest. As I believe with all other life forms, I believe there is an inherent beauty in the specialization of bugs to their environments—their shapes, decorations, behaviours. It probably doesn’t hurt that they will also stay still when I’m trying to examine them, rather than scatter as most other animals will.

Having recently moved into a basement apartment (as mentioned in the previous post), I will have the opportunity to test the limits of my fascination…and undoubtedly of my camera lenses. Should be fun!

Ironically, I co-wrote a comedy show that became known as Bed Bugs & Beyond

Ironically, I co-wrote a comedy show that became known as Bed Bugs & Beyond

Slitherers of Costa Rica

Before we left for Costa Rica, my brother warned me about hiking on jungle trails.

“Be careful what you grab when you climb a hill because that may just look like a branch.”

“If you have to step over a fallen log, step with a walking stick first to make sure the only thing under the log is dead leaves.”

“Tap out your shoes before you put them on in the morning to make sure only your toes reach the end.”

Okay! I get it! The creepy crawlies aren’t just beautiful. Can we go now? You first!

Luckily (I guess), the only significant nasties I managed to see on our trip were housed in a serpentarium near Volcan Arenal. And as I suspected, they were quite beautiful.