Humid nights. The nice part is that the evenings aren’t that hot (yet). The not-so-nice part is that the bugs here are not just creepy, they are downright strange. Behavior and appearance, these things are just not right.
Let’s begin with the flies, which actually started back at my last little assignment of fun and adventure about 50 miles south of here. The flies are regular houseflies of normal size, buzzing around areas that you probably would rather not be for any length of time anyway. However, and this is a phenomenon that has followed me further north, if they end up flying into any area where there are humans, such as, say, an office or a small trailer that you share with another person and all of your gear and they are the size of a tool shed, they seem to blame it on you. I say this because flies don’t normally dive bomb a person’s face, circle around, and do it again, paying no mind to swatting (I’ve seen several try to take revenge after being slammed against a wall…). If they get bored of one person, they attack the other for awhile, entertaining themselves by being just far enough that it doesn’t make sense to swat, but close enough that you feel dirty.
Next are the ants. First, they have set up some sort of main thoroughfare that involves the lowest step in front of my trailer entrance. I don’t know what is to the immediate left of the step that means they all want to be there, nor do I know what is on the immediate right of the same step that those bored of whatever it was on the left feel the need to go there, but every day around 0615 they start going back and forth and don’t stop until about 2300. Whatever is on either side, it must be terribly interesting. I’m going to start posting traffic signs.
But those are the friendly ants. Then you have the street ants out on the main compound. Today, a bully ant was vehemently attacking a slightly smaller one. It quickly became a gang war. I’m sure if I were a lot smaller I would have heard music in the background as they pulled out little chains and baseball bats, because they were doing what looked like coreographed West Side Story moves. (On a side note somewhat unrelated to bugs but really not that far off, we are becoming convinced that there is an Air Force gang trying to start a turf war, because they mill around at the same spot outside the exit to the chow hall every evening at the same time and stare at the Army folk as they leave. The crowd grows every day. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time and a need for an adequate soundtrack…)
The weather is too hot now for the flying ants, I think, which appear to have been replaced by mosquitos at a ratio of a gazillion to one, and the weather has warmed to the point where the ants with the raised rears show up. They had those in the Stan as well, so I should be used to them, but how do you get used to a bug that cruises around with its ass in the air and always finds the gap in the tread of your boot so you can never seem to kill it?
There are others… I saw what looked like a fast moving baby-scorpion, which I chased while calling it my ticket to freedom while my former first sergeant shook his head and told me sometimes he was glad to be leaving the company, and the black bugs with the red spots that attach to each other at the butt so one scuttles around forward and one backwards. There are the little white things with wings that look like pieces of paper, the hard-shelled water bugs in a land of little water, and today some monstrosity fell out of the sky with a loud smack and squirmed around on its back while we stared at it, entranced. I’m surprised the mortar alarm didn’t go off…
This place is a dream for an entemologist (that’s either the bug one or the tree one, I think… whichever, I’m sure they will find it entertaining). As for me, I’ll take my bug spray, swatter, and can of Raid and go about my daily business armed for battle…