bunt sign

Tuesday, September 19, 2000

For a person who enjoyed both A Bug's Life and Antz, you'd think I'd be more tolerant. Ants have, after all, some admirable qualities. They're industrious, selfless, and community-oriented. At least, that's their rep.

So why do I go into a mass-murdering frenzy whenever I see them? Three times in the month I've lived in the Fortress I've discovered them inside the house. In the four months I lived at Green Acres, I saw not a single ant within my walls. I guess it's what I get for moving further out in the country.

On the other hand, I lived in town at the Home Office for thirteen years, and the battle was waged at least semiannually. The war, alas, was never won — unless the ants get credit for a victory simply by surviving everything I could throw at them. I think in the end, they always win.

At the Home Office it was nearly always the bathroom where I found them. For the most part they never bothered with my kitchen, which probably tells you something about my culinary abilities. It doesn't say anything about cleanliness, though. It's just that if everything goes directly from the freezer to the microwave, the countertops don't need much wiping off.

The bathroom was also the first place I found ants in the new place. Since then, they've also turned up in the kitchen, and (today) cruising the baseboard in the living room.

Measures were taken. The sickly sweet smell of "unscented" Raid permeates the already stale air inside. (Don't believe the label, by the way. If I can smell it this strongly, I can only imagine how it seems to someone walking in. "What died in here?" I can hear them say. Or perhaps, "When did your persimmons go bad?")

(Please note that I have no idea how persimmons smell, good or bad. I could have as easily said "kumquats," of which I am equally ignorant.)

Anyway, living with bugs is part of living in the country. I'm resigned to sharing my house with a few spiders, but the occasional earwig is doomed as soon as I spot it. And it's hard for them to hide when they're trying to creep across the white carpet.

And ants, as glorified as they may be in song and story, will soon learn that the environment is unfriendly to them here. They can make all the cute movies they want. I will not be moved.

hot hot hotDid I mention yesterday that I didn't have an outdoor thermometer? Suzanne must have read that, because she dropped by this afternoon and brought me one. Don't be misled by the fact that it reads 80°F. This photo was taken at 8:30 tonight, inside the house. I don't think it was as hot as yesterday, though (although Suzanne told me she thought it was). We officially hit 100°F in Santa Rosa yesterday.

It was plenty hot in the house all day today; that much I can vouch for. I even got up early to get some work done before I melted into the couch, the way I did yesterday. I spent very little time at my desk after about noon, though. I can't point the big fan at the desk without having papers blow all over the room, so I had to go where the air was circulating. And that spot just happened to be on the couch in front of the TV.

I've been showing everyone who drops by the spider I found in my garden. It seemed so rare and exotic that I was thinking it might be an endangered species, and I'd have to move (or at least not do any work in the garden, by order of the government). (Not that it takes an Act of Congress to keep me from working.)

David was by to take some professional photos of it this afternoon. If he lets me scan them after they're developed, maybe you can get a better look at it. But it's apparently not a rarity, just a Yellow Garden Spider. Oh, well.

previousbunt signemailnext

Latest recommendation:

Al, Nova Notes, September 17, Colorific

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.
Subscribe to the list to be notified of updates.