This may very well be the last of the “insect alliance posts” for the winter. It seems apropos since most of the bugs seem to vanish into another realm during this time of year.
The first season on the land has inspired much discussion about the mini ecosystem that is full of wonder, awe and personality. One of the most awesome bug experience i had was in my kitchen. I was eating something and looking off into the distance. Since no one was around it was totally quiet except for this strange sound. I couldn’t really imagine what it was. I was thinking of all the possibilities…strange and mundane and then it dawned on me!
A few weeks back while i was pickling, i dumped a pot of hot water behind the stove and surprisingly a swarm of bees burst out of a small rock pile that was holding the monolithic stove piece in place. I had no idea they were living there….and now what i’m hearing as i eat my lunch, is the daily din of bee hive activity. This was not the first time i happened upon a bee hive in a strange place…in the yurt the wasps made their hive in the door frame upwards of 10 times in the course of the summer. They really didn’t bother me and i probably would have left them there except for the fact that they had begun to take over the yurt and on a few occasions i sat on or picked up an angry wasp in a pair of socks…so they had to go. Another time, i was inquiring about the concord grape plant’s folded leaves when lo and behold i was stung by a wasp…i then realized that behind one of the giant grape leaves a group of wasps made a nest.
As the summer came to an end i reviewed some of the things that i had observed in the garden. It seemed “alliances upon alliances” were forming all over…As i may have mentioned, i generally would just mentally ask certain “pests” to chill out and stop over eating my crops. It worked for the aphids on my tomatoes. I shooed them away one time and they never came back.
One day as i entered my garden, my attention was immediately called to this one group of tomato plants. I knew something was wrong instantly! The leaves were totally missing! It was that horn worm. A beautiful, green but somehow frightening fellow. I’m not sure why he gave me such a visceral reaction–might be because when i pull them off the plants i can feel their life force going from their body into my fingers and it’s so pronounced that it gives me the creeps. In any event, this made me think about the fact that it was as though the plant called for my attention. This is not the first time that something like that happened. I think, in a way, plants send out messages to other creatures. After a while dragon flies and frogs appeared in the garden and they would keep watch for their prey. Dragon flies perched high on the tallest pieces of bamboo in the fence and kept guard. I think there’s no denying the fact that these creatures were called upon by the plants to do their bidding.
My thanks goes out to all of the creatures who have kept my imagination stoked and my garden in harmony.