I have lamented to an unexpected degree the monsoonal monstrosity that beset Texas for more than two months. So much rain did not bother me, although I could do without the mosquito plague that has been the result of all the standing water. The visitation by severe storms failed to vex me, even though they came and came and came, as though ticking away the seconds on a clock. The dark clouds, the dance of prolific lightning, and the constant rumble of thunder merely soothed the beast within.
So why did I find this unusual weather so problematic? It was not only my inability to take walks, something that pestered me fiercely, but it was also how it interfered with my ability to observe and enjoy my favorite insects, the cicada-killer wasps whose massive colony right outside my front door gives me yearly joy full of leviathan antics and entertainment. Each time I stepped outside hoping to capture some images or video, I ran uncontrollably back into the house in order to escape the torrential downpours. I even noticed it kept the wasps from filling the air as they normally do (even insects get tired of the rain eventually, I see).
This bizarre year not only brought with it the fall webworm plague, about which I have an update to be posted momentarily, and not only did it bring floods and death and destruction and mosquitoes on a biblical scale, but for the first time ever I found myself completely hindered from taking part in a dance that lasts only weeks, one performed by the very creatures that pose the greatest risk to me in everyday life.
For you see, these wasps only live for a few weeks. Once their numbers peak, no more than two or three weeks will pass before they are all gone. Each adult lives only two weeks or so. Once the first behemoth appears, less than a month will bring about their complete destruction.
That time came and went during the worst of this strange rainy season. Sure, I visited with them briefly from time to time, usually on the patio where I was protected from the latest—or continuing—deluge, and even for a second or two I was able to step into their midst and observe them, but mostly I watched through the windows as they carried on with their business in defiance of nature’s intervention with normalcy.
And now they’re all gone. I can find their nests with ease. I can envision the goings on as though they happened just this morning. What I can’t do is show you any of that. A digital camera especially, but any camera tends to frown on rainy weather unless it’s built for underwater use. That means all memories of this year’s wasp season exist solely in my head. That really irks me.
But on to other things. . .
I will be on call for work beginning Monday. You know how that goes. It’s likely posting will be sporadic and sparse until next weekend. As there’s no less than a twelve hour window each day during which I am responsible for a mess of an infrastructure, and considering my previous experiences with this have shown it demands attention all day long, I suspect I’ll struggle to offer more than a bit here and there. But so be it. They’re paying the bills, right? Unless someone wants to adopt me (a very costly proposition, by the way), I have to do what it takes to keep money coming in… so I can keep it going out. This is the curse of life. . .
I will be house- and dog-sitting in two weeks for my friend Rick. That, like so many other things, could mean I’ll be less active online. Only time will tell.
A short while after that, Rick has surgery. Unless other obligations prohibit me from doing so, I’ll be his general caregiver during his recovery. Again, I mention this because it could well mean I won’t be around as much.
Add to this that I’ll be going to the family farm in the next few weeks (likely next weekend, although my already full schedule means that tentative plan could easily change). I’ll be certain to take my camera with me when I go. I’ve learned, albeit slowly, that keeping it handy is the best approach to life. One never knows when something memorable or noteworthy will pop up.