Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Monday, October 6, 2008


Before we moved, I'd heard legends about insects in southwest Louisiana. That they're a different species, bigger, aggressive, ruthless. And it's all true. Unlike the polite mosquitos in the northeast, who apologize before sucking your blood, (Sorry, I need this to live. Hope I don't hurt you too much) the 'skeeters down here hunt you down like hit men, zero in on your most sensitive spots, and while guzzling your RBCs, they surely inject some type of poison that guarantees you'll be furiously scratching a dime-sized welt for at least two weeks.

Last summer, we caught three black widow spiders on our back porch in three months. One had a sac full of baby black widows high in the corner of the porch ceiling. This summer, they must have gotten the message that they aren't welcome here. We didn't see any. But we do frequently find wolf spiders in the house. Due to their somewhat large size, we escort them out. I simply ignore the tiny nuisance spiders who create dust catchers under the furniture.

And then there's something we'd never seen in the north--love bugs. Twice a year, spring and late summer, the love bugs come out of, seemingly, nowhere, and fill the air, everywhere. They're completely harmless, but totally annoying. Cars really despise them. But the love bugs seems to love cars more than anything else in the world.

And don't even get me started on fire ants, another uniquely southern tradition. As much fun as it might be to disturb a fire ant mound, I don't recommend it. They're an angry lot, full of spite and vengeance. And fire ant bites, well, burn.

Now there is one insect, common in the northeast but even more prevalent in the deep south, that I truly love. The dragonfly. Or as we've oddly heard it called down here, "mosquito hawk." Dragonflies . . .their name alone invokes fantasy, knights and damsels, other-worldly times. Their irridescent wings catch the sunlight and sparkle, as they hum through the air. Dragonflies ignore us admiring humans, except for rare occasions. If you are very lucky, and are gifted by one landing on your shoulder, stopping by to say Hi, if only for a brief visit, then you are truly blessed.


Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Hey Angie,

I just tagged you from my blog. You don't have to play if you don't want, but the idea of this is to generate traffic. Go to my blog to see the rules.

Have fun!


Mindy Blanchard said...

Ang, I just love your take on our good ole Louisiana.

I can't wait to read what you have to write about the humidity!

Judith Leger said...

Well to the bayou state, Angie! Beautiful descriptions of our favorite pests! Well, most of them are pests but like you, I happen to love the dragonfly too!

Jess said...

You captured the essence of the south. Bugs galore. I hate 'em all -- but I kinda like the dragonfly too - especially the movie with Kevin Costner. :)