Tuesday, April 18, 2006

All creatures creepy and crawly

So, Spring has finally arrived (2 weeks late! Tut, tut, Big Guy). And with it, a horde of insects who all decided to come out of hibernation this Easter weekend. I was lucky enough to spend the weekend in the country, going on long walks, breathing deeply and saying things like "ah, yes, the sweet taste of fresh air - how I remember it from days of yore", and enjoying the boisterous company of Jack the border collie (and the in-laws, of course).

All of a sudden, everywhere I looked there were lady-birds. Now, I may be getting mildly myopic in my old age, but close-up details in my immediate surrounding are still pretty sharp - and a shiny red thing, no matter how small, stands out against a green/brown background. And there were loads of these cute, shiny little things out and about - climbing up monumental grass shoots, hurrying along branches on invisible legs, humping in the lawn.

I also saw my first bumble-bee of the season - and believe me, these couldn't be any more different from your typical Down Under bee. Picture a fuzzy pom-pom buzzing around, about the size of a malteser, on his way to a Richmond v. Carlton match (barracking for the Tigers, of course).

But it's not all non-threatening cuties in the insect world, of course. When we got home yesterday, we had a few creepier things to deal with - firstly, a big mamma wasp in the bathroom (that got my boyfriend out of the bath quick smart), and secondly, a daddy-long-legs which came in through the kitchen window. Now, I know you're thinking "Daddy long legs? Pff! Try a huntsman or a redback, lady!" - but there is one crucial difference between the Daddy's at home in Oz and the British-style ones, namely, the Brits have wings. Actually, I think it's the idea of a "flying spider" more than the actual creature that is a little scary - it is basically nothing more than your standard daddy-long-legs model, with 4 wings like miniature helicopter blades. Typically seen weaving through the air towards your face in a drunken manner, especially when you are making dinner and both hands are full.

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