Thursday, June 11, 2009


My older daughter, M, is very interested in bugs. I thought there could be nothing worse than reading endless books about bugs. Then she found this one at the library "Bug Poop." Full of interesting trivia about bug poop. Such as a bug that poops its body weight every day. Another type of bug excrement is used as tea in China. And it also tells how many poops different varieties of bugs make in their lifetime. Do I see a future career for M counting bug poo? Luckily for me, this book is in Japanese, and therefore designated a "Daddy book."
M had "small animal" day at school where students were invited to bring in small animals. I thought about sending her in with our child-friendly but extremely neurotic dog (the one who eats cosmos), but then I read the memo more carefully, "small animals such as insects, frogs, crabs, crayfish, fish, etc." She is good at catching frogs, but after an hour spent looking this morning there was not a frog anywhere to be found. We had tons until they flooded the rice fields a few days ago. Mass exodus from the garden.

We couldn't find any grasshoppers. Finally, she caught a cricket, but it escaped. Time was running short and Mommy had to catch something. Well, speedy and wily hunter that I am, I managed to catch a snail. Then photograph it. And drop the lid on its head. Ooops! Panic! Luckily, I managed to catch a butterfly and two more snails who were (ahem) too distracted to flee. Off she went to school with a bug box with one comatose snail, two snails "hugging" each other, and a butterfly.
These "dust bugs" have completely taken over the sunflowers, large and small. I think I need to move to plan B for this flower bed.
It is officially rainy season here in Gifu as of yesterday. We knew it was coming from about 2 weeks because the yasude invasion began. These bugs are harmless, but last year they were everywhere! I caught over 100 a day INSIDE the house. The eaves of our house were solid yasude.
We resisted putting down pesticide because of the girls and the pets, but they got completely out of control. So this year my husband dusted around the house. You can see the white powder on this yasude climbing up the wall.
Unfortunately the powder kills other bugs, too. Most of the bugs are safe in the garden, though, not trying to climb the walls of the house. Lots of sweeping up every day as the entire perimeter of our house looks like this in the mornings.

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