Saturday, July 11, 2020


     We got the blame thing working.  I still suspect somebody, somehow managed to block the exact octet we had been using, somewhere in the chain of more-or-less managed switches between here and there -- but I also don't care, as long as it's working.  Someone else can unearth and defuse that UXB at some future date; it won't be me.   The likes me and my old-technology peers of aren't allowed into the managed switches because, well, golly, if the specially-trained professionals can foul them up so badly, think of the damage us ignorant, blundering Philistines might do? A-hem.

     Afterward, I went for a walk in the very breezy outdoors and visited the biggest milkweed patch that I can get to -- sweet-scented and filled with bugs, including a gracefully flittering Monarch butterfly.  They're home to many of the good old red-with black spots, capsule-shaped milkweed beetles, who will test your hearing by chittering at you in very high frequencies if you pick one up and hold it to your ear -- if you can; they're wily and quick, and will drop like a rock if your shadow crosses them.  I can't hear them any more, so I don't try to catch them.  The milkweed, some plants standing nearly six feet tall, is also popular with iridescent, metallic-looking Japanese beetles, an invasive species but interesting-looking.  But it's the big bumblebees that like them most of all; I only saw one one honeybee* but every plant had at least two bumblebees fighting the breeze to hang on, and one cluster of blossoms had three of the large bees, getting in one another's way as they loaded up with goodies to take home.

     It doesn't take away the stress, but it makes it easy to bear.  Just about to the end of this project and then I'll see what's next.
* Apparently milkweed is a risky venture for the smaller bees -- they can be trapped by the flowers!  Man, nobody's got easy work, not even the bugs.


fillyjonk said...

Milkweed beetles and their noise! I thought I was literally the only one who had ever held one up to my ear. I grew up in a small town in Ohio (little to do) next to what amounted to an abandoned pasture (it was supposed to become a through-street connecting our street with the one to the west of it, but it never did). There were all kinds of things growing there - lots of milkweed,, and pussy-willows, and sweet clover.

I remember catching these things with a friend of mine who called them "raspberry rats" because of the color they were.

When I got a little older I realized "What would happen if it escaped and crawled into your ear" and I quit listening to them....

Roberta X said...

They were an interesting part of my childhood. They tend to drop away rather than crawl into ears -- and Mom was fairly strict about putting harmless insects back where you found them, so it wasn't a good idea to let them escape while listening.