Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cracking the blinds...

Some weeks back when I set this blog up, I had left certain settings in place until I could look at them later. About a week and a half ago I set the blog to allow anyone to post mainly because I have friends and family who don't have google accounts and its not fair to tell them,"Well? Just sign up!" when they say,"But I don't wanna have a google account." In reality, this conversation never took place. Never fear, I'm not actually that much of a jerk. ;) My reasons behind having left the blog locked up tight is due to me never having ever been a very open person. In fact when this assignment first showed up as homework, I had to squelch a fast rising tidal wave of panic. Since then I've gotten to the point where I can babble on about things like I've never live with my best friend Phobia. Phobia, meet the public, Public meet Phobia. Oh good, we're all still grinning. ;) Keep in mind that this is a test run to see how this goes, and I will yank that priviledge the moment I start feeling uncomfortable, so bear with me.

In another comment by another unnamed individual, thank you for posting, they had asked if I ever get bugs inside the library. This question was probably spurred by the picture of my wonderful little green Praying Mantis who keeps my little planter box free of pests. The answer is, no I haven't seen any bugs like that inside the library. However, we did have one very angsty lizard run in and hide in the children's section. Once caught, the stowaway took up residence in one corner of its prison, and glared at me in consternation until I closed the branch and released the golden goofball into the nearby field. Was it at all thankful? No. It hustled into the tall grass, then came back out and glared at me for a while. More than willing to have a stare down with my reptilian antagonist I stayed for about 10 minutes, before deciding I should leave the little tyrant to his own devices and head home. I saw him lick his lips in satisfaction as I turned toward my car. Ingrate.

Notice that I said I had not seen any bugs like my Mantid friends inside my library. This does NOT mean I have not seen my fair share of bugs in libraries though. While working another branch some time back I ran across what I first took to be a wayward caterpillar. The fuzzy creature was undulating along the floor at a slow pace, its little head nosing to the left and right in search of munchies. In an attempt to rescue my little fuzzy friend I went and got a clear glass to I could contain him for the duration of the ride outside to a much more inhabitable place for his needs. He hadn't gotten very far by the time I got back, so I closed ground quickly and went to put the glass over him. This all was going wonderfully until I got close... and then the caterpillar stopped dead, lifted and swung it cute fuzzy little face towards me and looked at me. You ever been in a situation that could've been ripped from a First Contact Sci-Fi movie where you realize that you've wandered in the foggy unknown areas of reality? My first thought was, that is one aware caterpillar. My second though, much more accurate, was,"That ... is not... a caterpillar..." I watched it, and it watched me. I noted that what I had taken to be fuzz were actually legs scrunched up against the body to hide the fact that.. they were in fact legs. The long hairs I had taken for hairs were actually feelers. And the plump little head.. looked a heck of a lot more predatory now that I could make out a nasty set of mandibles and multi faceted eyes. My mind fired rapid stills of a certain episode of Star Trek TNG in which most of Starfleet is taken over by a hive like group of insects, the little intruders riding the brain stem to get what they wanted. Gee... this certainly looked similar. However that wild idea was quickly shot down when I moved the glass a little closer and the critter went from hover mode to hydrofoil mode, hitting MACH 1 as it literally became a blur of movement, disappearing beneath a wall mounted book case. My brain lamely informed me,"The bugs in Star Trek the Next Generation couldn't move that fast." as my eyes adjusted to the still lingering white line the bug had created when it moved. I have never in my life seen anything move so fast, and be that small and I spent most of my childhood catching Fence Swifts (a type of lizard).

If you aren't a bug fan, please be advised that there is a picture of a creepy crawly coming up in the near future. As in... now. ;)

What was it you ask? It took me about 4 days to track down a book that actually had a picture of what I saw. Sounds like I'm describing an alien encounter, and it was sort of like that. Anyway, before I tell you what it is, let me say that you actually want these in a library, because they eat the bugs that may damage a book. They aren't poisonous, they can't hurt you, and they are extremely fragile, needing a somewhat humid cool environment. If you catch them, and leave them captured they will die... and then fall apart. Delicate to the extreme! To most gardeners they're known as the House Centipede. They are also known as a Hairy Mary. I prefer the second identifier myself, because they do indeed look hairy. Dubbing them as a Mary however is beyond me. The picture on the left is not of the one that I came across, but I did nab this because it gives you an idea of just how small they are. With its long legs up against its body it really does look like a caterpillar.

Although its not late, I am going to fold shop for the night. I ran it very close to the wire last night, and as a result I'm straggling along at the speed of an arthritic turtle. So, I big you an early night. ;)

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