Pesky Memories of Insect-ridden Lunches
Pesky Memories of Insect-Ridden Lunches
Inasmuch as almost all of my hubs about Nature have been records of inspring,challenging and rewarding experiences, I have decided to add a hub about pesky experiences in Nature involving insects in order to add some balance.
My first pesky experience happened with all my family as we returned from a visit on the East Coast and arrived at a rest stop in Pennsylvania just under the highest point on Interstate 80 east of the Mississippi River. We took out our picnic lunch and headed for a table thirty yards into a nice flowery meadow. We spread the table clothe and began to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Appearance of a Giant Bumblebee
All of the sudden, out of nowhere, came a gigantic bumble bee sounding like some sort of dirigible out of the 1930s. It nose-dived each of us until we grabbed our sandwiches and started to sprint out into the meadow. People at other picnic tables wondered what the hell we were doing. Even though we ran in separate directions across the meadow all the while taking tiny bites of our sandwiches, it chased one of us after another. We tried to regroup at the table, but it wouldn't let us. At last we escaped to our car but left behind the nice table clothe and burnt rubber to get the heck out of there. All of us suffered from indigestion, and, of course, we had no tums or rolaids to releive our stomachs.
Thirty years later, this time with our oldest daughter and her two young kids, we raced along Interstate 80 in Nebraska after visiting family in Iowa. It was an incredibly hot day in the upper 90's. But we all looked forward to a nice picnic lunch at a rest stop west of Kearney. Just as I began to doze off into a deep sleep. my daughter Michelle pulled off into a rest stop and my wife Maura and she started unloading picnic cooler bags to take over to a covered shelter with a picnic table.
Mosquitoes at an I-80 Rest Stop
I remained in a stupor from the heat and from my short-lived nap. We all sat down and started to eat our sandwiches and chips and to drink our bottled water. Suddenly my wife, grandkids and daughter jumped up to run outside of the shelter on to the grass while nibbling on their sandwiches. I sluggishly became aware of one big mosquito after another drawing blood from my arms and legs. I, too, jumped up, grabbed the bags and wolfed down half a sandwich to rejoin my family at the car. Swarms of mosquitoes followed me but thankfully they failed to enter the car. Two bites of a peanut butter sandwich hardly satisfied my hunger, and we all remained hungry until we arrived home in Denver.
Crackling Cobwebs in Japanese Hills
A third pesky experience happened to me all alone halfway up Rokko Mountain 2000 feet above Kobe, Japan some twenty-five years ago. I had taken my kids to school at the Canadian Academy, waved goodbye, and shouldered my pack to climb the Rokko Mountain trail. It was terribly hot and sticky. As I climbed higher and higher, I grew hungrier and hungrier. About half way up, I decided to enter a nice cool cove in the woods to sit on a log and have my sandwiches. But before reaching the l9og, I unwittingly walked right through a thick and crackling cobweb that stuck to my hair, face and shoulders. After I thought I had brushed all the crackling threads from my hair, I sat down to eat a cheese sandwich when I felt something crawling on my neck. I jumped up to brush two big black spiders off my neck and ran for the trail, leaving behind my sandwiches! Fortunately I still had a bottle of cool water which I sipped until I reached the summit to gain a sweeping view of Japan's Inland Sea, but my stomach growled all the while.
A person should never brush aside safety concerns while experiencing the Great Outdoors.
I should note that we were the only picnickers who were attacked by this bumble bee. Other groups sat placidly in the picnic area wondering what was our problem.
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