Aloha Friday: Bugged By Bugs

When I was a kid, I remember being very afraid of bugs.  If I was mowing the lawn and a dragonfly passed by me, I’d duck and run away.  If a spider crawled down the walls, I’d have to leave the room.  Don’t even ask me what I did if a bee flew my way.

At some point, though, I got over my fear of bugs.  I think it mainly is due to my love of photography, specifically macro photography.  Once I began looking at the world of small things through the lens of my camera, bugs went from scary creatures to avoid to fascinating subjects to photograph.

Years ago, B would roll her eyes and put up with me crouching over to take a very close photo of a weird bug.  Today, though, I think I’ve (partially) converted her.  When we saw a big, weird looking spider in our front yard, she didn’t even flinch as I asked for her camera.  (We were on our way out and mine was locked in the house.)  And so I took a photo.


Of course, half the fun is taking a photo.  The other half, is zooming in on the photo to see the details.  For example, just how hairy this spider is.


My, what hairy mandibles you have!

Now, if I could only identify what kind of spider this is.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: Do you find bugs fascinating or creepy?

P.S. If you haven’t already, try out my Twitter applications: FollowerHQ and Rout.

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #161

The Tale of The Finger-Friendly Ladybug

Over the weekend, I took NHL and JSL to the park.  As I pushed them in the swing, I looked down on my and and saw a tiny creature longing on my knuckle.  Yes, a ladybug was using me as a rest stop during a long trip in the air.

I didn’t have my DSLR with me (when will I learn not to leave it at home?), so I tried to get some photos of it with my Droid.  While pushing my boys.  But not while using the hand that the ladybug was lounging on.  Somehow, I made this work.


Eventually, though, my boys got interested in what I had on my hand.  NHL wanted nothing to do with it, stereotyping it as a "bug."  I explained how ladybugs were "good bugs" and ate the bad bugs that would otherwise destroy plants.

JSL, meanwhile, wanted the ladybug on his hand.  We carefully moved his finger nearby.  After it tried running from his approaching finger, it finally went on his nail.  He was so happy (and this let me take an even better photo of it).


Sadly, the ladybug soon fell off of his finger as he walked across the park.  It recovered quickly and flew away, leaving JSL sad and missing his little friend.  Thankfully, we’ll always have a photo of his park encounter to remember the tiny visitor by.  (Yes, I might just have to print out a photo of that last photo for JSL.  He’s taken to loving putting together photo books to remember occasions.)

How would your kids react if a ladybug landed on your hand?

The Luckiest Bug in Disney World


Before I relate what happened at the Dinoland Party at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I wanted to relate the story of a bug.

Since we had some time before the party, we went to the Animal Kingdom, rode the Kilimanjaro Safari (where I saw some of the places I’d see on the Wild Africa Trek the next day), and then went to the front of the park to await the rest of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration crew.

While talking to some other DisneySMMoms attendees, a bug began to fly around us.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  After all, it was April in Florida.  We swatted at it and it fell to the ground.  This is where the fun began.

My father-in-law began egging the boys on to squish the bug, but I told them not to.  At this point, the bug wasn’t bothering them so I didn’t see any reason for them to go out of their way to kill it.  So instead, we watched it.  It walked away from us seemingly unable to fly.

Unfortunately, Animal Kingdom was closing and so people began to leave en masse.  Up came a group of about 20 people.  They were walking right for the bug.  Surely, it would soon be squished, right?  We watched in disbelief as foot after foot missed the bug.  A few came close, but always missed.  (Lest you think people were intentionally avoiding it, their eyes were fixed ahead on the exit and not on the bug underfoot.)

After the first group came another.  And another.  Feet after feet after stroller wheel after stroller wheel missed the bug.  We kept looking on in more and more disbelief.  This bug was defying all the odds and, I’ve got to admit, I found myself rooting for it.  There’s nothing like an underdog to gain my sympathy.

Sadly, the bug didn’t make it.  Eventually, someone came along and stepped on it.  Still, for a time there, that was the luckiest bug in all of Disney World.

Snakes and Lizards and Cockroaches, Oh My!

IMGP5193This past Saturday, we braved heavy crowds and insane parking to attend the Hannaford Kidz Expo in the Empire State Plaza.  There were many interesting booths with various fun options for the kids.  I couldn’t possibly blog about them all, so I wanted to focus on one of them today: Reptile Adventure.

B wrote about them previously when they stopped by a local library.  That time, NHL went with B to see the various creatures that Reptile Adventure had to show.  This time, however, NHL was a bit overwhelmed.  Perhaps it was the crowds or the anticipation of seeing the Radio Disney booth.  In any event, he didn’t want to be anywhere near snakes or lizards.

Thankfully, JSL didn’t seem to mind much.  So while B took NHL out of the room to calm down, JSL and I marveled at the various creatures they had.  I’ll admit that I didn’t get as good a look as I would have liked.  There were a lot of people walking through and I wanted to make sure that JSL stuck by me.  Still, JSL and I each got to touch a snake and we each loved seeing the turtles, lizards, snakes and even the hissing cockroaches.

IMGP5196Yeah, about those cockroaches.  When we first walked in, we saw a Reptile Adventure employee sitting down with a big snake around her neck and a hissing cockroach walking up one arm.  This was easily the biggest bug I’ve ever seen.  It was at least four inches long.  To be perfectly honest, I just looked them up on Wikipedia for that length.  My eyeball estimate was going to be 8 inches but Wikipedia says they grow to 2 to 4 inches.  Perhaps my estimating skills can be forgiven seeing as they are HUGE!

IMGP5189Moving on from the cockroaches, we saw this turtle and a buddy of his relaxing near the entrance.  It looks like someone got him some reading material.  I’m not sure if it’s ironic or not for a turtle to be reading the "Race Day" section.



IMGP5190This fella (or ma’am… I really couldn’t tell) was on top of his cage.  I had to lift JSL up so he could see him.  I couldn’t tell if we were more fascinated by this spiky lizard or if he was more fascinated by us.



IMGP5191Then, there were the snakes.  They had small snakes and large snakes.  Each of these, at some point, was able to be touched by kids (and grown ups) to see how they feel.  By the way, I assumed that snakes would feel slimy, though in hindsight I’m not sure why.  They don’t.  Smooth, yes, but not slimy.

JSL was hesitant at first, but finally decided to try petting the small one in the photo to the left.  I didn’t get a good photo of that, but, luckily, JSL decided to pet this larger snake as well.  He did a great job on both.  (And, yes, Reptile Adventure provided a station for you to clean your hands afterwards.)


All in all, my only gripe about the Reptile Adventure room is that I couldn’t spend more time there taking photos of every creature they have.  The nature photographer in me can get frustrated by the lack of wildlife in my day-to-day life.  (Though the boys can be wild enough.)  We left wanting more (and JSL left wanting a stuffed snake).  Hopefully, we can see more of Reptile Adventure soon.

More about the Kidz Expo in general and the Radio Disney book specifically in the coming days.

Ninja Mosquitoes and Itch Cream Avoidance

Yesterday, I wrote (in part) about how the mosquitoes ate me alive.  All during the day, yesterday, I was itching away.  Then, today, something interesting happened.  I itched some more.  From new locations.

I could swear that I didn’t have these new bites yesterday, but there they are.  Either they were there but I was distracted by other ones, or my area has become infested with ninja mosquitoes.

I imagine the ninja mosquitoes snuck into our room late at night from a gap left by the window air conditioning unit.  Silently, they flew across the room surveying their potential targets.  Then, they zoomed into action.  They attacked my neck, my ear, my arms and my legs.  With their attack completed and their bellies full of TechyDad blood, they crept back out the same way they got in.

Until now, I’ve been trying to “tough it out.”  The itching is horrible, but I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t seek medical treatment right away.  It’s not a macho thing.  I just put other people’s needs ahead of mine.  “Sure, I’m itching all over and this cream could stop it, but first I need to finish this page for someone and make the kids dinner and a few more things.  Then maybe I’ll break out the itch cream… perhaps.”

Well, today I broke down.  I ran to the pharmacy on my lunch break and bought a tube of anti-itch cream.  I am now in the process of identifying my itchy spots (kind of hard to pinpoint them when there are so many bites) to slather cream on top of.  I apologize in advance for any bad mental images of me slathering cream all over myself.

*itch* *itch* There’s another one. *slather* Ahhhhhh!

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