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Child of the Earth and Me, a Jerusalem Cricket in the Rio Grande Valley on a March morning, photos © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.



The weather is getting warm, which means insects and spiders are coming out.

I almost burned the sausage the other morning on account of running outside to look at an unusual creature in our front yard.

“It’s a CHILD OF THE EARTH!” I screamed.

We used to see them all the time when I was a child of the earth myself. They scared the pee out of me, with their shiny translucent casing and black-dot eyes on either side of their humungous heads.

The Child of the Earth is really a Stenopelmatus Fuscus, or a Jerusalem Cricket. In other, less dramatic parts of the world, it’s commonly known as the Potato Bug, and I guess one could argue that it vaguely looks like a spud. (I, however, think it more closely resembles a crawling fetus.) It’s innocuous (like you’d expect a child to be) and lives mostly burrowed underground, which accounts for its pale complexion.

I’m fascinated by most bugs. The other day we came across a big, thick centipede. I was simultaneously freaked out and hypnotized by its long, plastic-looking body and pincers on the tip of its head (or was that its bottom?). It wasn’t until it started to amble — with its oodles of legs — in my direction that I let out a yelp and high-tailed it out of there.

In short, I’m both attracted to and repulsed by creepy crawly critters.




What about you? How do feel about moths and ants and crickets and beetles?

Do you run the other way when you see them, or are you the one others call to come get the Daddy Long Legs out of the bathtub?

Think about all manner of bug-like creatures. Think about your response when you see them. Which ones creep you out? Which ones do you consider to be magical?

Set your timer for 15 minutes and at the top of your page write the words, Everything I know about bugs….

Get your hand moving (as if you have ants in your pants) and don’t stop until the buzzer rings.




Ants in my Croiss-ants, the first ants of spring having a picnic in our kitchen on a warm March day, photo © 2008 by Jim. All rights reserved.


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