Sunday, May 14, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 110th Installment

the chores, we were talking about Mother Nature and some of the strange things we’d seen. Russ was talking about seeing two scorpions fighting and about other strange bugs that he couldn’t identify.

I hate bugs!” Russ said, intending to end the subject.

Hate, that’s a strong word,” I said.

Remember the flying ants on the hottest days of the summer when we were stacking hay,” Russ had to remind me.

Oh yeah – Well, I hate bugs too – just ants, though, the other bugs don’t bug me.”

Mosquitoes?” Russ had to say only one word.

Oh yeah, again, I HATE mosquitoes and ants,” I had to laugh.

Russ had to remind me how he solved our problem with the flying pests. Every summer when it was hot, I mean ‘like in–the–oven hot,’ the extra queen ants from each ant hill in the desert would crawl out and fly away to start a new ant hill. Yes, they had wings. This was usually not a problem to humans because they don’t bite. But they swarm and crawl around on anything above the ground that they land on.

If you can imagine, say, ten ants walking around on your face and in your ears and nose, plus ten more in your hair, then you have an idea of what it was like for us. Brushing the ants off and trying to work at the same time, would drive us crazy. We would see balls of maybe a hundred ants crawling all over each other on the top of posts as they would generally seek to land on the highest object in the area. When we were building haystacks and were getting fifteen or sixteen layers high, (around twenty feet), we became the target for these altitude seeking bugs. It was then Russ came up with the solution: a brilliant plan, I had to admit.

When we were high up working on the haystack, we’d have a long pole with us on which we would wrap the end with some tee shirts or a sweat shirt and then stand the pole up on end. Most of the flying ants would seek out this higher place to swarm on and mainly leave us alone. Then we’d move the pole up as we worked to build the stack higher – problem solved.

Not to be out done by Russ’s victory, I had an ant story of my own. When we were little farts, we got some balsa wood gliders that would fly real fine. Well, one day we figured our plane needed a pilot, so we found several little bugs and gave them flights. But they all fell and became little skydiving bugs without parachutes. Then we found one of the red and black wood ants that are quite big. The ant hung on for dear life and took several flights. I was ready, arm cocked for another flight, when I heard a teeny tiny scream
500 more words tomorrow

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