Friday, September 3, 2010


OK, I apologize for what I am about to share.

Be glad there is no photo.

But it was slightly traumatic and yet intriguing, all at the same time.

So, without further ado...

This morning, we had a little rain. Well, as they tend to do, worms like to squiggle out onto the sidewalk. Maybe they are playing chicken. I don't know. And, as it always happens (one would think the worms would learn), the sun comes out, and they dry up. The end. One family in town refers to this final product as "worm jerky."

So, after our rain this morning, we had some sunshine for the rest of the day. Well, until it got dark. But that is entirely beside the point. As you can imagine, at least one worm turned into jerky.

Well, this evening, I was out for a nice, relaxing walk in the cool evening air. I was sauntering down the sidewalk listening to my music when I caught a small motion on the sidewalk. It was a worm. Now, my brain registered a few things all at once. 1. It had been a sunny and warm afternoon. This worm should not be moving. 2. This worm is moving sideways. Worms usually don't travel in that direction. 3. That worm is kind of stiff. 4. Are those legs?

An army of ants (well, it was more like a small patrol) was carrying a stiff worm corpse down the sidewalk. You may take a minute and let it sink in.

If you think of the way ants carry off crumbs at a picnic, you can even make a nice little mental picture (I don't like suffering alone).

Horrified, I went a few steps past this tiny hunting expedition, but I found myself turning around to watch. It was utterly disgusting and fascinating all at the same time. And I kind of wanted to make sure the worm was good and dead. I don't know what I would have done if it was alive. I don't even want to think about that.

The interesting thing was just to watch the ants work together to carry their bounty home. One group was doing the heavy lifting, and another few were running around crazily. I was kind of curious about those ants. Were they looking out for would-be thieves? Were they trying to figure out where they left the car? Were they just trying to look busy so they wouldn't have to carry the worm?

Ants, I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving feast.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Things I like about summer

Yes, it has been hot here lately. Now, before all you Mississippi folks roll around your floors in fits of laughter, please remember one thing: We have no air conditioning. So, in honor of the quickly approaching end of the season, here is my list of things I like about summer.

I like:

  1. The way my feet securely adhere to the ground when I go walking. I love the feeling of successfully pushing off the ground as I go along. Things are much less secure when the ground is frozen.
  2. Long days. It's so much easier to do an early morning roll-out when your bedroom is flooded with light before 5am.
  3. Fantastic sunsets.
  4. Sunshine (although...after my attractive sunburn Tuesday, I may be re-thinking this one)
  5. Going outside without a coat and twenty pounds of survival gear.
  6. Biking around town.
  7. The way my circle expands to a much larger area.
  8. Fireworks.
  9. Meat on a stick.
  10. People in traditional Japanese dress.
  11. BBQs.
  12. Festivals.
  13. Cool evenings.
  14. Sitting outside on the ferry.
  15. Vegetables.
  16. The occasional ice cream.
  17. The way that this summer actually makes me look forward to winter (yes, I will probably quickly change my tune).