Thursday, August 9, 2007

Seven angels seven plagues...

That lyric from Joydrop's Strawberry Marigold, which coincidentally seems to be the only song I could find with a "seven plagues" reference in it.

Several folks around the blogosphere have been very "list-y" lately. They've all been making lists for camping, visits from the Mother-in-Law, getting ready for back-to-school, etc. Now I always do a list on Fridays, but after almost stepping on a tree frog last night, I have a new list to share.

The Seven Plagues of Guyton, GA

(kinda catchy, eh?)

1. Sand Gnats

The little buggers are everywhere down here. They even named the local baseball team after these tiny, winged biters. This was the first pest we encountered when we bought our lovely, new rural home. They swarmed the window screens and doors first thing in the morning. They got so bad that I was literally sweeping piles of them out the front door. Eventually, they died out, only to be replaced with....

2. Spiders

We started off with your garden variety brown web-spinners, but recently moved on to Black Widows. Yes, those creepy big black spiders with the red hourglass. We killed four in the garage. Let me amend that, my husband killed four in the garage, and one almost landed on his head in the kitchen. We sprayed and stomped them out of our house, and they moved on to our next door neighbour's place. He did the same, and the neighbor on the other side of him started complaining about them. I don't know where they are now, but they aren't here. (If you'd like to read more about my run-ins with spiders check this entry) They spiders were replaced by...

3. Ants

Yes, I know. If we hadn't killed off all of the spiders, we wouldn't have ants. That's not true. Generally, the spiders around here don't get to eat ants, because the ants aren't dumb enough to walk into a web meant for a flying insect. They are, however, dumb enough to eat ant bait, stagger away, and kill off all of their brethren. Kind of like "The Manchurian Candidate" for ants.

4. Buzzards

I encountered these guys fairly early, and they really didn't bother me all that much, except for that first week when they kept landing in my yard. I think they were looking for the neighbour's chihuahua, who spends a lot of time in my yard relieving herself. No, they weren't a problem, until I almost ran one of them over on my way to work as it was picking clean what was left of an armadillo. (You can see my early ode to Armadillos here.) Most people hate buzzards. I think they serve a necessary function, one that the county appears loathe to deal with, anyway. They get rid of road kill, and they do look pretty in flight. On the ground, not so much.

5. Frogs

Every time it rains, we hear the lovely sound of tree frogs. And I do love it. I just don't love it underneath my bedroom window when I'm trying to sleep. Or stuck to my front door, where the cat is just itching to eat one. After a hard rain, I go out, and they are covering my house, sometimes one frog per two or three square feet of siding. We've also found them hiding in the grill. Oftentimes, they end up dead because we haven't checked the grill closely enough before finding them.

6. Flies

Especially around the trash cans. I think flies just come with rural living, but it still grosses me out to see something trying to crawl out of the trash can. I make Ray bleach the thing. I wish our neighbours would bleach their cans, too. At least so they're flies would stay out of my house. I've thought about trying the plastic bag of water trick. It's really prevalent in the deep south, where you hang a big plastic bag of water from the ceiling. It's supposed to get rid of flies. Or drown them. Or something. I have no idea if it works. I'm afraid to try it, because I'm pretty sure said bag would fall on my head during dinner preparation. Just a guess.

7. Dump trucks

The scourge of our quaint country lanes. I can't go to work, can't go to the grocery store, can't frantically drive all over the county looking for quality pre-k, without getting stuck behind one of these monstrosities. I shouldn't complain. One helped build my house, but they're also at dozens of construction sites all over the county. They just seem to be waiting outside my subdivision anytime I want to go somewhere. I haven't met a soul in this county yet who doesn't have a ding in their windshield (windscreen, you UK types) from a pebble launched from a dump truck.

So that's it, the Seven Plagues of Guyton, GA. Not as interesting as some other plagues, perhaps, but we all have our own peculiar regional problems to deal with, I suppose.

Oh, and for those who missed my note yesterday, there is an audio clip up in my profile now, for those who were interested in what my "radio voice" sounds like. It's the demo I threw together in an effort to get work *grin*


The Rotten Correspondent said...

And people say nothing happens in the country. Or the South.If only they knew.

To this day I sleep with a sheet over my mouth thanks to the Alabama spider that climbed into my (poor little mouth breathing kid) mouth when I was about ten.

Some things just stay with you...

Anonymous said...

Surprisingly enough, we have many of the same plagues here in Southern California (hey, we're in the South, too, ya know!) Spiders (including Black Widows) and ants, for sure, and flies of all types. Lately I've noticed more and more gnats around here and I'm not sure what's up with that - they're probably different from yours and as far as I know, they don't bite, but they're annoying nonetheless. Not too many frogs, though, and as for dump trucks, I just pass 'em in one of the other lanes (there are advantages to city/suburban life). Our buzzards are all of the human variety.

my two cents said...

I agree with jrh. Southern California has its own, and similar seven plauges:

1. Dust. I have never seen dust like we have here. It comes from

2. Drought. Drought causes

3. Fires. Fires are very dusty. The dust comes from the ash that falls from the sky.

4. Ants. Ants come inside looking for water. These are not the large "carpenter" ants we had where I grew up, these are tiny little buggers and they bite! They come by the thousands and bring

5. Spiders. Spiders eat the ants and then leave their droppings in little piles where they eat the ants, these resemble dust.

6. Traffic. Lots and lots of traffic. The dump trucks speed along at 60 or 70 mph and gravel and what not flies from them. Good news, you don't have to drive behind them, you just pass them and hope not to get hit by

7. Cell phone drivers. These are the dangerous buzzards jrh refers to. Yacking away not paying attention. One has to be very careful of them when driving. They sort of define why one needs to be a defensive driver.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Jen, you know all about my plague.



mjd said...

I am currently reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. While reading, I am dreamily thinking how lovely Savannah, Georgia must be. Your post reminds me of a more realistic Georgia. I really can do without biting sand gnats and poisonous spiders as well as the summertime humidity.