Insects, Insects Everywhere!

insects-in-Guatemala Insects in Guatemala were not in short supply. I remember one night at my house, going downstairs to the refrigerator to get water, and a cockroach flew down at me from the top of the fridge, landing on my shoulder. Needless to say, my shrill scream woke up everybody in the house. And I’d rather not mention the time that I was eating malt balls, and one of them was a cockroach! I spit out everything in my mouth in a wild panic, not even waiting to reach the bathroom sink.

When I was at boarding school, our science teacher assigned us a project involving a collection of insects. We made butterfly nets out of wire coat hangers and netting. I caught several butterflies because there were so many flying around. I felt a little bit sad to have the butterflies in my insect collection because they were so beautiful, but we were told that they had a very short life span anyway. Moths could easily be found at night around the lights on the porch outside our dorm.

I never caught a lightning bug, even though they came out every night after dark. They were magical as they lit up, almost like twinkling stars that were close enough to touch. The boys caught them and showed us how psychedelic their bodies were. I just wanted the boys to leave them alone. There weren’t that many lighting bugs (as opposed to other insects, which were profuse), and I didn’t want the magic to go away.

During the month of June, June bugs were everywhere. You could not walk on the ground without stepping on some. I’m not kidding. The entire ground was a mass of black, round balls, crawling around, making the ground look like it was moving. It was like one of the plagues of Ancient Egypt. Even walking on tiptoes caused a few June bugs to be crunched.

Mosquito season was even worse. I would go to bed at night, only to hear, “Zzzzzzz,” in my ear. Knowing how itchy I would be in the morning if I didn’t kill it, I would turn on the light (risking a spanking from the dorm mother), hunt it down and kill it. Then I would hop back into bed, only to hear another, “Zzzzzz…” Again, I got up and hunted it down. One night I killed seven mosquitoes in my room.

I had a huge insect collection by the end of the year. Each one was labeled neatly, and I had learned a lot about insect identification.

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2 Responses to “Insects, Insects Everywhere!”

  1. gibsonchristie says:

    Remember that enormous red wasp like thing that we trapped in a net and then panicked as we tried to find a way to get it into the jar without getting stung.

  2. Susan says:

    I don’t remember the wasp, but I know that we were constantly catching insects and other critters!

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