My Favorite Insects

Having a lot of flowers and vegetable plants to care for has been a relief in some ways lately, since it has kept me outside the house and off my phone looking at news feeds and becoming more and more despondent. Between drought, excessive heat, the pandemic and all the associated idiocy, Afghanistan, and US politics, it has been a heart-heavy summer.

The other morning I was turning the sprinkler on the dahlias when I saw a perfect dragonfly perched on the fence. I like dragonflies. We only see them here when it is sufficiently humid. It is sometimes humid here in the early morning. I love the way they tear around. I also like hummingbird moths and their imitation of hummingbirds. They are a rare sight here, too. I saw a Tiger Swallow tail last weekend, and that always cheers me up. On the rare nights it has been cool enough to have the windows open and the AC off, I even have enjoyed hearing the crickets, unless they are frogs, but I think they are crickets.

What are your favorite insects? How to you cope with bad news? How can you tell a frog call from a cricket chirp?

60 thoughts on “My Favorite Insects”

      1. Mind you, Sherrilee, some external force won’t let the subject go, will it?
        Well, I started a long speil about when I heard an old friend had died several months before. But deleted it (deliberately this time). That was a bad bit of news.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Now I’m wondering whether what I heard last night down at the “ground” was frogs after all.The reservoir ran dry so I put a long piece of gutter down, so they could all walk out, and they did. But they should all be asleep somewhere now, shouldn’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a child, I once witnessed a dragonfly beating its wings on the surface of a Minnesota lake until a sizable bass came along to pounce on the poor bug with a mighty splash. That impressed me so much I wasted a lot of time trying to invent a fishing lure that would beat its wings on the surface film.

    The love of fishing later made me obsessed with insects favored by stream trout, especially the holy trinity of mayfly, stonefly and caddis. I spent many summer evenings throwing around imitations of the largest mayfly of all, the hexagenia limbata.

    But the poet in me has made another choice: the firefly (or lightning bug). Living two summers near a trout river in in northwest Wisconsin taught me to love with the look of a June meadow lit by the lazy magic of fireflies at dusk.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. As preparation for amphibian field surveys with the Minnesota DNR and Hamlin University, I was given a recording of frog calls and chorus’. There were just over a dozen to learn. Positioning oneself with your back to the call source, is helpful in identifying the species. The most lovely sound come from toads.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Wes, I wonder if you know my cousin TJ. He attended Mankato State in the late 1970’s, and still does field research for the DNR counting frogs. He raises snakes and is a luthier.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Finally, back to where I can re-write my comment. Last year my pollinator garden produced so many butterflies. It always is filled with bees and stinging insects as well. Friday I was stung by a honey bee–uncomfortable for me, disastrous for the bee! This year due to the heat wave, my dill did not germinate. Dill supports the swallowtails, so I have a few, but not so many as last year. We have sighted both yellow and black swallowtails, monarchs, and another which I cannot remember. I love both the butterflies and the dragon flies.

      On the non-insect front we have recently had many, many hummingbirds, as well.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. John Haldane quipped that “God has an inordinate fondness for beetles.”
    At 400,000 identified species, beetles are the largest order (coleptera) of animals on earth. My favorite among them remains The Beatles.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Fireflies. Thanks for mentioning them or I wouldn’t have thought I like anything in that family… they’re all just annoying, buzzing, pests. (hyperbole)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. A friend of mine named Seppo once traveled the world collecting fireflies because he used the chemical glow mechanism in some juice he had invented to indicate the presence of bacteria. That formula was considered so valuable he sold it to 3M for over a million dollars. He later blew the whole million dollars on a failed enterprise to grow morel mushrooms commercially.

      Seppo was an interesting guy. He had some remarkable stories about firefly hunting.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. 1. Box elder bugs – but probably because of a fondness for our old box elder tree in the back “meadow” in Robbinsdale – they would swarm the south side of the garage in spring and/or fall, but were completely harmless, and kind of nicely colored.

    And dragon/damsel flies. And there’s something else, if I could just remember it…

    2. Cope with bad news by just sitting down or being still in some way until it is absorbed. Then there is usually a flurry of necessary activity. When I can be still again, start planning how to cope with the new track we have been switched to.

    3. I have no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. #2. comment is for the REALLY bad news. For just regular bad news like the Covid idiocy, etc., I stick my head in the sand until my news magazine The Week arrives – concise, several viewpoints buy slanted in my direction. Mainly the concise summaries, though, are a big help, instead of having to listen to hours of commentary on the stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Speaking of box elder bugs… I don’t like them, but they do remind me of a play adaptation of Bill Holm’s book, ‘Box Elder Bug Variations’. And then I do have to at least give them pause…. just before we spray the daylights out of them!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 3 pieces of bad news so far today, none that momentous. Waiting for another event to be good or bad.
    Ants and bumble bees. Amazing creatures. How do those fat bees fly? Ant hills were all over our grazing ground.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. After several years of hardly any firefly sightings, this summer there seems to have been a resurgence of them. Friends all over my neighborhood have reported seeing lots of them. We’ve made it a point to go outside at dusk to watch their lightshow from the comfort of our own back yard.

    I’m also a fan of dragon and damsel flies. I especially enjoy watching a single dragonfly eviscerate a bunch of flies; they are extremely efficient. Husband and one of his photo buddies are going to Crosby Park this afternoon to photograph dragonflies. They are marvelous, miniature works of art to look at.

    Like BiR, I don’t mind the box elder bugs. I suspect Bill Holm can take credit for that.

    There really aren’t that many creepy crawly things that I’m fond of, but who doesn’t like ladybugs? The Danish name for ladybug is Mariehøne, meaning Mariehen, and whenever, as a kid, we could get one to perch on a finger, we’d recite a short poem entreating it to fly up to Vorherre (Our Lord) and ask for good weather tomorrow. Don’t know if American kids do something similar.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Bad news. If it’s one more Rock’nRoll great that died, I think, well he or she had to go sometime. Then I unexpectedly sit down and shed a few tears. Last I heard, we’ve still got Don Everly, Wanda the Beautiful, and amazingly, the Killer. Forty years ago he was at death’s door, and the opinion was, well, what would you expect. Still with us, but that Killer attitude seems to have gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My immediate household is bad news by the day, sometimes more often. I am holding up well. No idea why/how. Talking to Sandy right now reminds me of Bartleby the Scribner

    Liked by 2 people

  11. my brain and
    heart divorced

    a decade ago

    over who was
    to blame about
    how big of a mess
    I have become

    they couldn’t be
    in the same room
    with each other

    now my head and heart
    share custody of me

    I stay with my brain
    during the week

    and my heart
    gets me on weekends

    they never speak to one another

    – instead, they give me
    the same note to pass
    to each other every week

    and their notes they
    send to one another always
    says the same thing:
    “This is all your fault”

    on Sundays
    my heart complains
    about how my
    head has let me down
    in the past

    and on Wednesday
    my head lists all
    of the times my
    heart has screwed
    things up for me
    in the future

    they blame each
    other for the
    state of my life

    there’s been a lot
    of yelling – and crying
    lately, I’ve been
    spending a lot of
    time with my gut

    who serves as my
    unofficial therapist

    most nights, I sneak out of the
    window in my ribcage

    and slide down my spine
    and collapse on my
    gut’s plush leather chair
    that’s always open for me

    ~ and I just sit sit sit sit
    until the sun comes up

    last evening,
    my gut asked me
    if I was having a hard
    time being caught
    between my heart
    and my head

    I nodded

    I said I didn’t know
    if I could live with
    either of them anymore

    “my heart is always sad about
    something that happened yesterday
    while my head is always worried
    about something that may happen tomorrow,”
    I lamented

    my gut squeezed my hand

    “I just can’t live with
    my mistakes of the past
    or my anxiety about the future,”
    I sighed

    my gut smiled and said:

    “in that case,
    you should
    go stay with your
    lungs for a while,”

    I was confused
    – the look on my face gave it away
    “if you are exhausted about
    your heart’s obsession with
    the fixed past and your mind’s focus
    on the uncertain future

    your lungs are the perfect place for you
    there is no yesterday in your lungs

    there is no tomorrow there either
    there is only now
    there is only inhale
    there is only exhale
    there is only this moment

    there is only breath

    and in that breath
    you can rest while your
    heart and head work
    their relationship out.”

    this morning,
    while my brain
    was busy reading
    tea leaves

    and while my
    heart was staring
    at old photographs

    I packed a little
    bag and walked
    to the door of
    my lungs

    before I could even knock
    she opened the door
    with a smile and as
    a gust of air embraced me
    she said
    “what took you so long?”
    ~ John Roedel (

    Liked by 6 people

    1. my heart keeps me hoping for the next love experience my brain sees a way to make all things work and even comes up with new ones
      my heart and brain keel me on top of the world
      but i’ll add lungs
      i like therapy
      i like calm
      i like new habits to plug in
      this old dog just keeps learning new tricks
      thanks pj

      Liked by 2 people

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