In our fountain-pond, we used to have floating flowers so bees and birds could enjoy the water without drowning. Unfortunately, they didn’t hold up to the harshness of the winter or changing temperatures. So now I’m a lifeguard. Every night, I fish out one or two bees who’ve accidentally found themselves in the pond with no way out. Sometimes I feed them sugar water in case they need some extra juice to fly away, but most of the time, they just want to dry off and leave, with the exception of bumble bees. These guys hang out and stay all night long. I often find them staying the night on one of my zinnias, unmoved, until the morning sun reaches them and then they fly off. It’s such a strange behavior because bumbles are harder to shoot than other bees because they are fast movers. I often think they are dead when I find them on top of a flower in the evening but they aren’t and will give me the claw to tell me to back off.  “Giving the claw” is a bumblebee’s way of saying “back off.” She’ll raise one of her front limbs as if to say “stop” and of course we respect that! After all, I didn’t save her to annoy her! Yes, Mr. Wild Dingo and I are those wacky people who rescue bees.

We also have a “Catch and Release” policy for insects found in the house. Sure, there are a few exceptions like flies, aggressive wasps too close to our living space, ticks or home-wrecking termites.

In fact here is a photo of Larry and Moe right before they met their maker. They found themselves in the unfortunate position of choosing to make their home below our house. Since they didn’t pay rent, built unauthorized structures without a permit or pay for the damage from their endless partying habits, we had to evict them this spring. For a long time, Mr. Wild Dingo refused to let me post this photo, but nobody reads this blog so, only about three readers will ever know we had termites. And I scratched that itch of wanting to share this cool photo of Larry and Moe. I swear, admitting you have termites or aphids feels like you are telling people you have leprosy.

But, for the most part, we are a “live and let live” family. Then one day I fed a earwig to the Venus fly trap. Mr. Wild  Dingo  was flabbergasted. He couldn’t understand why I could go around saving every spider or insect from demise only to intentionally send an earwig to its final destination. “It was an act of mercy,” I told him. “He was going to die anyway (the earwig was a little gooey from being damaged somehow but still moving), I just helped him move to his next life a little sooner. Besides, we all gotta eat. And this earwig gets the honor of serving the life cycle in death and living on in this plant.”

Some plants are not vegan. These are ways I justify targeted insecticide.

But I draw the line at feeding bees to the Venus fly trap. Don’t worry girls, you are safe with me! I guess that makes me an “insectist.” We can’t all be perfect. Save the world, one bee at a time!

The Charms of Mountain Living

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