Evil Weevils

It seems like every year I get to go up against some new insect that wants to stir the pot in my garden. Fake wasps dry humping my vines, mutant Japanese beetle things a few gamma rays away from a Godzilla movie, threatening spiders, and worms disguised as leaves to infiltrate my tomatoes. 

At least the hummingbird moth hasn’t wronged me.

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This is a really bad photo. I’m sorry, but they’re so fast!

 

This summer, I’ve become aware of a higher percentage of broken off coneflower heads. The heads are left hanging by the barest scrap of stem. I’ve blamed the evidence of my new adversary on my darling goldfinches who are constantly in and out of the flowers eating seeds and screaming, “Heeeyyy, yoousse guys!!,” but the way the stem was broken just doesn’t make sense for the birds.

On a hunch, I dissected three hanging flower heads, and three for three I found evil in the form of a shiny beetle with an anteater’s nose. My gut said “Weevil” and the Internet clarified “Sunflower Head-clipping Weevil.” That’s so frigging specific!

It was time to go to war. War with a bucket of soapy water.

Warning: The following portion of this post has been approved for “mature audiences” only due to language, implied violence, and maybe an implied sex scene.

If you’d like to read a thoughtful explanation of the Sunflower Head-Clipping Weevil and how to deal with it, please follow the links above. My version is much more sweary and less scientific.

Mother pus bucket!

Here’s what the motherfuckin’ Sunflower Head-Clipping Weevil does. It really likes coneflowers, but I’ve also found them on my Black-eyed Susans and blanket flowers. It likes them so much that it uses its giant nose teeth to snip a perfect circle around the stem just an inch or so below the flower, leaving one little leftover bite so the head of the flowers still dangles from the stem.

Then.

THEN!

Then the Sunflower Head-Clipping Weevil goes inside the flower head and HAS SEX. It fucks inside a decapitated head like some conquering Game of Thrones incestuous viking, dragon motherfucker! (I don’t watch Game of Thrones. I just know there’s a ton of boobies and dragons. So I’ve heard.)

Then.

THEN!

Then they eat all the pollen on that flower, and lay a bunch of eggs inside the head where they just had weevil sex. When the flower head finally falls off, the larva crawl into the ground to winterize and repeat the whole goddamned cycle!

You can’t spray for these assholes because they invade blooming plants and you don’t want to kill the pollinators. Drowning was the only suggested solution. So I rolled up on these bitches with a bucket of soapy water, shears, and my bug squishing gloves. They have plastic coated fingertips. I spent my morning drowning weevils like some kind of gardening mafiosa.

Tired from mass murdering bugs (and doing some planting), I went inside for lunch, and that is when they retaliated with a surprise strike.

Eating in the Happy Morning Sunshine room, I glanced out the back doors to the garden. Something was off.

The head of my “Now Cheesier” coneflower (Ok, there are all kinds of varieties and colors of coneflowers. The “Mac and Cheese” coneflower which is a lovely Velveeta shade came out in 2008. “Now Cheesier” is the follow up.)  that I had planted not even an hour ago appeared to be drooping. Not drooping. PERFECTLY SNIPPED! FUCKERS!

It’s like they left a horse head in my bed! The war will continue.

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Look at them gleefully dancing! Right before I crushed them.

Blowing it up!

The neighbors started blowing shit up Saturday night because nothing says happy holiday weekend like explosions and things that sound like gun fire. From what I can see, they’re not even getting fireworks that make colors. They’re literally just making noise.

Olivia Wigglebothum does not approve. Even Miles has his limits (it takes a lot to piss this boy off) and gave the window a good hissing.

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Olivia Wigglebothum and friends would like to remind you that fur kids are not really in to all things associated with the 4th of July: crowds, intense heat, strange human foods (even though they will ask for it), and above all loud, startling, frightening noises that lead to irrational, fear-based behavior.

Even some humans aren’t that into it-this girl! It probably doesn’t help that Gpa said that fireworks makes him remember phosphorous bombs from WWII.

Olivia’s  irrational, fear-based behavior will be to inconsolably low-belly around the house, stopping to cower in various spots such as behind the toilet probably through the leftover explosives that someone will drag out Wednesday night. So…yea…Happy 4th.

 

Need a laugh?

Need a laugh? ( Mmmm hmmmm

Has the universe left a giant bag of flaming bullshit on your doorstep recently? (Yup!)

We were paper tigers: maybe more creepy than funny, but essentially harmless. 

These were paper facial masks from the beauty section of Target. Buy 3, get one free, but my nephew wanted nothing to do with his mask or with the three of us. 

My biggest regret was that I did not take a video of us making “tiger noises” because we totally were. 

Also MomBert looks like Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Another missed video opportunity. 


I call this one: “Big Butt Dramatically Exits Chair.”

Dear Fortune Cookie…

Someone was asleep at the wheel when I ordered Chinese food the other night. Instead of the obligatory two fortune cookies, (I assume that they assume that I carry my order back to an additional human. I don’t. I get 3-4 meals out of my delightful carryout.) I got THREE fortune cookies! Oh, the great fortune, I thought, until I started opening them.

Fortune cookie 1: “Always be kind and loving to people older than you. You’ll soon be their age.”

img_8864Ughhh. It’s like the fortune cookie sweat shop (Yes, I mean sweat shop. Hundreds of tiny fingers stuffing fortunes into fragile cookies.) has tapped into my life right now. I’ve been helping my neighbor Sick Margaret mother to the vampiric Baby because she fell…AGAIN. One simple helpful task quickly escalated into more helpful tasks as I put on my smiley helpful face to hide my daily dread of being sucked further into her world.

I want to be  a good person and kind to others, but at the same time I don’t want to interact with my neighbors beyond the friendly wave or head nod.  I’m happy in my bubble of cats and gardening. Conversations about how nice it must be for me to have friends (hers are dead) and “don’t you ever get lonely” intrude heavily into my safe bubble.

Fortune cookie 2: “You are realistic, and others relate to you.”

Oh, fortune cookie! What. The. Hell? I try to be realistic, but most people seem to find my realism horrifying. It might be my delivery which does not always self-edit and is heavy on the sarcasm. Students have gasped from the back of the room: “She’s so real.” This happens primarily when I’m calling out someone on whatever bullshit they’re indulging in at the moment. Surely other teachers have a limit to their tolerance and ability to sugar-coat life.

Maybe I just know too many glass half-full people who react in horror to my assessment of situations. “Let’s not pretend. Let’s be for realz on how this will pan out.” Being realistic labels me as negative and a quitter. Two combine two already odd turns of phrase: The sun does not shine out of my asshole, don’t blow smoke up it.

Fortune cookie 3: “Cheerful company and a  merry time.”

Yes! I’ll take it! Let’s get drinks and tacos….but mostly tacos!

Burning the Garden to the Ground: Match in Hand!

This is NOT the offspring of last year’s giant garden spider that had me trapped in my house gathering flammable substances. However it is hanging out in the same location, and I have watched it grow this week and really structure its web.DSCF1883

It’s either a Basilica Orb Weaver or a Venusta Orchard Spider.

You figure it out.

Frankly, I can’t decide and looking at page after page of close up spider pictures is making me queasy. Seriously, if I see another close up of a hairy spider’s eyes, I’ll probably just faint and roll under my desk. The cats will never figure out how to dial 911, we’re doomed!

The spider is not yet at horror movie size, but I know where my lighters and matches are. Just. In. Case.

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What?

“What?”

(But hear my voice -or Samuel L. Jackson’s– when you come wandering into my classroom with time on your hands while I’m staring at the computer wondering who needs strangled next.)

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His Samuel L. Jackson impersonation.

Tomorrow is the last day of school. It has been a glorious and terrible week of exhaustion, panic (failing students panicking, not me), and universal done-ness. Tomorrow my colleagues will have an adult meeting with adult beverages and ramble on about their own done-ness.

I am not done.

If I can get the publication kids done, that’s a positive step, but that rarely happens in time for attending the adult meeting.

I am never done.

Miles and I will just leave this here. Whoever wrote it didn’t get the quote quite right, but it is my favorite desktop graffiti. Found during yearbook camp– yes, that’s a thing- that I attend and teach at during the summer.

Just another sign of my not done-ness.

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“Say ‘what’ again. I dare you.”