Bugged-A Day in the Life of a Farmer’s Wife, Day 11

Rain makes me claustrophobic. Especially when I’m sharing an early 1900 farmhouse with Tom, Mom, and about 10 million bugs.

And a snake.

The bugs are not all in the house, mind you. They are underneath, above, inside, outside. Omnipresent.

Here’s the rub. Some of them are good. At least by gardening standards.

That thought crossed my mind as I did “Bug Duty” in the field the other day. Bent over white plastic, I shook collards until 8-10 flea-like-beetles flew off. The trick was to get them while they were confused on the white plastic of our raised beds. Then, I swiped my hands over the plastic trying to annihilate as many as I could. Those who used their mammoth microscopic legs to catapult them to the next raised beds to munch on tomato leaves escaped. Others were too stunned. I mushed them.

Such is the life of an organic farmer’s wife.

Killing bugs gives me plenty of time to think. Good bugs and bad bugs. Who knew? I picture good bugs with super-hero-capes and a serious countenance. Bad bugs scowl and have dastardly laughs.

The trouble is knowing which is which.

Last week, I saw a 4-inch bug that looked like it could swallow me. Tom killed it per my insistence. Turns out it was harmless. A Dobson fly.

I moved on to a different row in my bug assassination duty. A rather large, armored-like bug sat on a squash leaf. I squished it with my shoe.

I know for a fact there are no good fleas or ticks. Yet they party on my dog, Sam–ocassionally hopping on one of my Bible study ladies or nestling in my bed.

The other day, I was so overwhelmed with bugs, I decided to empty my hummingbird feeder to encourage a visit from those pint-sized birds. I set my purse down since we were headed to town and stepped over what I thought was a stick.

It wasn’t.

A five foot black racer came out of hiding to get a glimpse of the sky just like I did.

I left my purse for a while and circled round the house to retrieve it.

When you’re a farmer’s wife, you have to be creative.

“Did you kill a large bug on the squash plants?” Tom asked.

“Yep, why?”

“It’s a bug called an assassin bug. He’s good.”

I assassinated the assassin bug.

I guess I didn’t see his cape.

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