more of those blasted harbingers

When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;
When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand;
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?

Shakespeare Richard III, 2.3

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(the swarm at Julie’s / Julie Cook 2013)

You think you’re seeing a cute pretty little ladybug. So sweet and cute you say. So cute when a 3 year old little girl is dressed as one for Trick or Treat but not so cute when hundreds descend upon your world—-as is exactly what is playing out throughout the southeastern States the past couple of weeks, with my house being in the middle of the fray.

This is just the one “lady” out of many that I could actually follow long enough to zoom in on– all the hundreds of other little friends where busy scooting where I know not and flitting also to where I know not—but not inside my house thank you very much!! By George, not in my house!!!

This time of year. . . it’s always this time of year. . . like I said, this time of year, when the weather first turns cool, then turns back mild, which will in turn switch back to cool, then cold— the ladybug—better known as the Ladybird beetle, THE Asian Ladybird beetle, will gather en masse to find a place to “winter”. . .like my house looks like a place to “winter” ?! I think not!!

Why everything likes to “masse” up this time of year is beyond my soul. First it was the grackles, or blackbirds, who swarm together during the winter making for very noisy and quickly moving black clouds seen and heard dashing through the sky. Then it was the herd of wooly bear caterpillars scurrying across busy roads giving no never mind to the tires heading their way. Next it was the squirrels darting about my yard gobbling up every acorn in sight as if they know of some sort of looming acorn shortage. And now—-it is the attack of the ladybugs!

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One must be very careful when opening a door around here lest a handful of these “ladies” flit inside. Do you know how annoying it is to sit down to supper, enjoying something warm and wonderful, when suddenly you look down on the edge of your plate as something scooting along the rim has just caught your eye. Disconcerting indeed.

If all of the things that I have been “witnessing” and observing, these past couple of weeks, are true indicators of winter, then Georgia is in deep trouble. Perhaps I should alert some state official, or perhaps the Governor to ready the sand trucks. We all know what happens to the roads and drivers in the South when the “s” word arrives. We don’t like saying it out loud as it makes kids go crazy, drivers even crazier and our local weathermen, nuts.

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I certainly don’t claim to be any sort of soothsayer or prophet by any means but obviously “things” are all trying to tell me something. All I know is that if the frogs start falling from the sky, I’m packing my bags . . .

blueberries and bugs

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Ok, let’s move on shall we…away from accolades and awards to things that really matter, like bugs and blueberries. As I’ve been nursing this ankle of mine, I’ve not managed to make my rounds in the yard as aptly as I would prefer. Did you know that 90% of one’s weight is supported by the heavier tibia while a mere 10% is allocated to the fibula. Since it is the lower fibula that I broke, I am currently beginning to experiment with the whole concept of weight distribution.

Now when I think of weight distribution I usually think of my unhealthy consumption of butter and where it, the consumed butter, plans on distributing itself on my body. However I think this is more or less talking about what are weight-bearing bones and what bones are not weight bearing.

Now a woman of my age, not that my age is anything to consider, humph…. should perhaps be a little concerned with bone-mass as my doctor does make me have that checked on a yearly basis—something about osteopenia and needing to probably beef up on calcium… remember my friend and her tums concern…but I digress. So weight bearing seems important these days for all sorts of reasons.

Worried over the fact that one calf muscle now resembles a strand of spaghetti and the other is still nicely svelte for a non-competitive woman such as myself, I’m trying ever so gently to take off the air-cast and use a brace splint. Yes I know, a little too early I suppose but if you only knew how badly my other leg’s groin muscle and hip are now hurting due to life as a webble wobble, you wouldn’t scold me too much.

Walking on a hard flat surface such as the floor or driveway is nice. No problem. Remembering how to walk like an adult is another matter. It is also the yard, the un-level grass and ground that has me a bit worried, as that is what got me in this whole mess to begin with…that and an eager beaver let’s dig ditches and clean gutters out later type husband, but again—I digress.

90% is good as that seems to be the majority of the walking weight, but every once in a while, the 10% rears its ugly head and believe you me, I know that there is still a leg issue. Thank goodness I’m not a point toe dancer—and you can forget trying to put a leg down in the wellies. Hence why I’m now sitting, leg propped up, writing you.

Ok, so we’ve got to get the garden planted. The rain, the cold, my leg have all knocked us back weeks. The air-cast and I are not hitting the dirt together. Frankenstein meets the tomato is not my idea of a good time. So I’m gently trying out the brace splint. In my zeal to be a bit more mobile, I actually walked around to the back yard suddenly noticing that in my absence my blueberry bushes have lost all their flowers and are now actually covered in young green blueberries!! It looks to be a bumper crop. I’m so happy!

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The other odd thing…have you ever noticed a sudden bit of infestation, by some type of creature in your yard, making you feel as if you are living in a 1960’s B movie? Not that this has anything to do with the latest emergence of the 17 year cycle cicadas…which I have not yet seen, or better yet, heard…. but rather some crazy looking little black and orange spiny thing. They are on my lawn chairs, the sidewalk, the plants, etc. The blasted things also bite or sting—and are easily smushed—which makes flicking them off things a bit gross and messy.

This is how great the internet can be—now you won’t hear me say that often as sometimes I feel the internet is more bad than good but in this case I make an exception. I hit goggle and typed in “little black and orange bug” and bingo, instant image—the exact tiny creature creeping me out. Turns out this “thing” is the larvae of the Asian multicolored ladybeetle—better known as the ladybug. Who knew??!! No matter, I like it no better and wish they’d all go away. Seems they are supposedly beneficial but have gotten a bit out of hand by overpopulating—seems that’s always the case—too much of a good thing. And anything that looks like this spiny thing and bites me is not a beneficial thing.

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So that’s how things stand today. I managed to get all the little vegetable plants down to the garden, propping them up ‘til my ditch digging loving husband gets home from work, helping me to get them in the ground—he wants to dig so badly?? Let him dig in the garden!! I’m sorry, I just keep digressing. I’ve got 13 different heirloom tomato plants good to go, 4 eggplants—2 globe black beauties and 2 Japanese Ichiban, 2 red bell peppers and packs and packs of seeds—corn—yellow, white, red—okra– burgundy and green— beans– pole, bush, pinto, stingless, wax— peas, swiss burgundy chard, sweet orange watermelon, baby cucumbers, squash, zucchini—you name it—I’m salivating just typing….but wait, what is this….why is the sky suddenly looking so grey??!! Are those menacing rainclouds—-again??!!

D@m*it, is it suppose to rain—again??? AAAGGGGHHH!!!!!!!!