The Wildlife Bites Back

Sometimes the wildlife bites back.  I think I have fed every horsefly in the garden, and, thanks to the alpacas next door, there is no shortage of horseflies here.

I was just over across the street, watering the plants most likely to get done in by these heat and dry wind over at my neighbor’s because she and her husband are away for another couple of days (well, he might be back late today, but he’s not the garden watering type).  It was wonderful being in a garden that wasn’t full of horseflies.

Then I walked past their pond and saw a giant water bug floating lazily in the upper, oxygenated portion of the exceedingly green water, and by giant water bug, I mean the gigantic love child of a water boatman, a scarab beetle, and a cockroach on steroids.  It dove down into the murky depths as, shocked, I leaned over to take a closer look.  So make that a live giant water bug, probably this species here (since I think it’s the only one found in Europe, although I’ve not idea what the hell it is doing as far north as here):


Every time I walk past this little pond of theirs, I catch a flicker of something interesting.  Yesterday, I thought I saw a fish!  I have no idea where that would have come from either.  My neighbors let their pond go completely dry last summer in the drought then, inspired by our attack on our pond, dug out the 20 years of gunk that had accumulated on the bottom, then let the rains refill it (a process that required several months, given the lack of rain last summer).  Also there is definitely a croaky frog or toad living their, too.  Meanwhile our pond doesn’t even have ordinary aquatic insects this year.  😦

Other exciting wildlife news today: we had another fledgling sparrow come down the chimney, but I got it out of the house again before it bumped its head too many times.  And two of the three surviving chicken eggs have, right on schedule, starting to make pecking noises, like they are trying to hatch!  And the wasp’s nest is still growing and going strong, so it must not have been the queen I killed.  Yay!




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