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Posts Tagged ‘insects’

Looks peaceful doesn’t it, bulls grazing their way across a clearing, sun lighting the clearing casting shadows here and there, the idyllic forest scene.  Ummm well think again!  Every scene they say tells a story, this is about three children in the middle ages full of adventure and history. With magic, battles between good and evil giants and English history it goes along at a good pace.  However,  the one I am about to tell you is of crafty, naughty, greedy piggy wigs who could well end up as saffron flavoured bacon.

Once upon a time in a forest lived a writer and his wife.  Now when they retired they bought this little olive farm in the mountains because it was quiet and just right for the author to write.  Here he could sit at his desk and look out of the window watching and listening to the birds singing whilst he wrote away.   His wife a poetess also had a desk but it was in the kitchen so she could scribble away whilst pottering around without disturbing her husband.  She liked her gardening and built various flower beds to define where the house area and the farm/forest divided.  Over the years she planted various plants but only the drought hardy ones could survive the hot summers, so she decided that bulbs were the answer.

 Tulips, daffs, iris, and such were duly planted out in beds and over the years the little saffron bed she had created flourished lots of flowers providing lots of saffron.  Then one morning………disaster!

They were going into town and as the author went to get the car out he noticed the saffron bed had been dug up. Not only that but the bulbs his wife had planted down the side of the steps leading up onto the cacti garden were gone as well.  Now he knew this would upset his wife so he got the car out then went to tell her.  Boy was she mad…….so shopping that day consisted of more bulbs, but there was more to come.  As they drove out of the drive they noticed the corner of a terrace wall was completely destroyed.  This was not good, as two days later after sneaking off to inspect the finca in between writing the author did his back in.  Berated by his wife he had to own up to trying to rebuild the wall but the stones were so large and heavy he had lifted too much.  So the wall would have to stay down till later on.

Now one evening when they were driving home they surprised a warthog – yes I know warthogs don’t live in Spain, – but this one did and his name was Wally Warthog.  They could not believe their own eyes and as soon as they arrived home looked him up on Google.  Sure enough it said that warthogs were root and insect eaters and unlike the wild boar who would turn and fight  they would run away, just like Wally did.  Wally had obviously been abandoned so now they had another neighbour and felt sure they knew who was responsible for all the damage. Ummm no they didn’t they were wrong as events will prove.

Things went on a little bit quieter, she was able to tidy and repair the garden walls whilst he helped tidy up here and there, then the garden was dug up again. So it was time to reposition one of the night cameras as they really wanted to have a photo of Wally being very naughty. So a few night came and went with nothing happening and with Easter upon them they forgot all about it.  So it was quite a shock to the authors wife when she found her one and only tyre planter almost destroyed.  Years ago they had been given an old lorry tyre to make a planter with.  It was duly positioned at the top of the drive painted yellow and green and planted with Iris, Black Tulips and Snowdrops, and over the years it had filled out but this morning the bulbs were dug up and the tulip bulbs were gone. The wife  looked at her planter then sat on the edge and cried.  Then she went indoors and told the author who immediately jumped up and fetched the memory card from the camera, loaded it on to his laptop and said ” I think we owe poor Wally an apology look….” and this is what they saw:-

No Wally but these naught not so little piggy wigs rooting for bulbs and such.  So a lesson was learnt, do not blame someone for something unless you are very very certain they did it or you have proof.  SORRY WALLY ALL IS FORGIVEN…….

 

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc –  Author

 

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I think we will have to stay mum when we are off out for a meal. The last time we travelled to a restaurant we had food poisoning http://bit.ly/ShfRCJ, that was in October 2010.  It is now 2010 and we had forgotten all about that other meal.

Our daughter had come over for a few days, so we decided to go out for a meal.  Now as it was our daughters birthday the Sunday before, my editor suggested we all went to a Chinese restaurant down the coast.  So we duly arrived to pick her up had a cup of coffee and a chat then off we went.  What we did not know was that a wasp had attached itself to my wifes jumper, she is allergic to wasp stings.  So a little while later as we were driving she gave a cry and found a nasty mark on her arm, she had been stung. Then she saw the wasp on the floor. Now we had a problem!

To start with her arm came up in a small hard lump, then as we headed towards the restaurant it began to swell and go red. At the restaurant we held vinegar over the sting and gave her antihistamine tablets, we had tried to squeeze the sting out and thought we had done just that.  All this seemed to stall the swelling and the redness began to go down.  We all then enjoyed a very good meal.

This restaurant is an ‘eat all you can for xx euros’, the food was laid out in a long buffet. So we started at one end and worked our way down the line.  From the salad bar through the sushi, very good as well with a selection of sauces.  Next came a selection of cold fish prawns, mussels, clams etc., followed by various paella, and noodle dishes.  Then came ribs, pork, beef, chicken and duck with rabbit as a back dish.  After this came a selection of small bits fruit and last but not least a whole section of cakes and puddings  lots of cream and chocolate  ohhhhhh…..

Although my wife seemed a little off colour we all thought she was fine. However, after lunch we drove back to my editors house and after a few minutes she wanted to go home ooops.

When we got home she was not well went to bed  and slept for 19hours.  When she woke around midday her arm was a little better and she began to get the sting out packing the hole with drawing cream, Her arm was red and sore but gradually it began to get better she has started taking antibiotics as friends and the chemist said she should have gone to hospital.  Never mind I am looking after her.

And the wasps? well they have joined the snakes  not near our house, we have both been stung over the years its not nice and I don’t like to see my wife suffer.

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It’s really not fair, here I am el Buzz the famoso Humming Bird, dining on some jasmine when I find myself in an embarrassing position it happened like this:

I live in the forest where there is an abundance of nectar flowers, but over the last few weeks the bees have been buzzing on about some really sweet Jasmine I ought to try.  The only problem I saw was that there were humans around, so before I tried it I asked Tim Bee if it was safe.  ‘Safe?’ he replied ‘look, these are strange humans. One day Bobbin Robin said it was not fair that they were the only ones with a drink, so what did the female do? got straight up and fetched a dish thing. Then male filled it with water making a tank to keep it topped up, no these humans are ok’.  As it turned out he was right.

 

Well,  I thought nothing to lose so I popped down there. Oh what a delicious plant nectar to die for (and I nearly did).  She was hanging out the washing when I found this really sticky flower. ‘Oh’ she said ‘you’re pretty’. and carried on hanging out the washing.

 

 

Now by this time I found I could not get my mouth out of the flower.  There I was hovering and tugging this way then that. But every now and then I would just hang for a second to get my breath oh that did hurt, then try pulling again.

Whilst this was going on she disappeared returning with her camera and proceeded to take photographs.  It did not take her long to realise that I was in trouble. One good shout and he appeared with a flat thing in his hand. Then after a good look he picked the flower head laid both it and me on the ground a gentle squeeze then tug and I was free.  I did not hang around but buzzed off.  However I returned a bit later only this time I was very carefull as neither of my protectors were about.

I remembered something my mother told me ‘if a flower smells very sweet but no one else is trying to drink from it  ALWAYS CHECK IT FIRST!’ good advice.

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Oi! What Are You Writing?

What does he think he’s doing sitting in there. It’s not right, It’s not fair. I mean there  I was, sitting  in an almond tree minding my own business taking in the sun and singing away happy as Larry, when along he comes with his daughter and son-in-law in tow and starts poking around in the branches. Well, I mean, what was I supposed to do?   Anyway, I stopped singing, waited until he turned away then jumped on his shoulder for a ride.  I mean fair doo’s, he disturb me. 

On that basis I thought, it  is only right he should carry me to my next tree.  Only it didn’t quite work out that way…. 

We had almost got to the tree when hs daughter went  ‘Ohhhh dad whats that on your shoulder?’  next thing I know Matey – that was he was called – got me off  my transport and put me on here.  Then he get’s his camera and starts taking pictures (hope he got my good side) whilst my transport went inside this tent thing and started writing.  So here I am hanging upside down on the out side whilst my transport is in there and wont come out.  I expect he thinks I can walk over the top and fly the few feet to the tree.  No way sunshine, your my taxi, and if you want a good tip finish the journey instead of  leaving me hanging around.

Honestly what next, the kids have called their mum to come and look at me, I should start charging. It’s not right is it?  I need to get to my next tree, it’s just behind him but he’s not having it.  These author’s, no consideration for others unless they are in a story. 

Lady Hanna

‘Oi, yes you mate, come on fair’s fair,  Lady Hanna the Cannibal got a ride on your wifes trousers down to the field, she told me so just after she ate her husband,  so how about my ride to that tree?

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I'm In Charge - Bobbin Robin

I have been living here for some while, well, perhaps a year or two, but the one thing everyone knows, including the humans, is I am in charge here.  I might not sing as well as Mr `Last Word’ Blackbird Boris, but I rule!  My name is Bobbin Robin by the by.

I'm Boris

This is Boris. As usual he is playing hide go seek, what he does not realise is he’s not very good at it.  Sometimes I have  trouble with Boris. You see his job is to wake everyone up at first light, no problems there,  singing his head off letting us know it’s daylight. The Humans think he is wonderful, its his night-time song, he insists on having the last tweet.  But even I have to admit that his singing as he calls everyone to bed is soothing.

However, once he is awake he sometimes squabbles with the other Blackbirds in the area round the ‘big house’.  So I have to remind him who is boss here, I might be small but I can hold my own. A few short shouts and a peck or two and peace is restored.

My Names McGrew

My assistant is a Crested Tit called McGrew, Dangerous Dan we call him.  He’s not really dangerous, but with that hairdo well, he has something to live up to, I mean with a quiff like that you wouldn’t call him ‘Big Mave’ would you.  Anyway he’s my number one, because he stood up to me one day but cried like a hen when I pecked him. 

But I like McGrew, he’s ok, he won’t tell when I go raiding or sort out the others, in fact he defends me. Well sort of,  actually he keeps me informed on where the best food is, I mean, you only have to look at him to know he’s got it sussed. 

In His `Crafty' Tree Seat

We have found some fun here lately. The humans have been trying to take a picture of me and Boris,  but we know when they are up and about so we dive from one place to another it really upsets her, she’s the first one out with the camera, he’s more sneaky though, sits in his tree chair pretending he’s not interested then click he’s got us. 

Mind you we may have over done it.  He was digging in the ground planting things, which was great for us all as we could get at the grubs and other insects; but he stopped yesterday, so I think we should let him get his picture then he might just do some more digging.

So I had a few words with the others and the results are these:

Who's A Pretty Boy Then?

Can I Go Now?

                                                                

Things I Do For That Robin

                                                                             
                                                                                
 
 
 
 

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It is strange that an insect so important to this world, small, busy, productive, and varied which provides so much that is essential to us is under threat and the scientists can do nothing to help. I know they are looking into what is causing CCD but it is not just the mites that are killing off our bees. I realise that insecticides are the Big Bad Wolf but when DDT was used things were not so bad, not perfect, but not so bad.

There are 7 main species and 44 subspecies of bee but everyone recognises that this is likely to be incorrect. Alpini is a species with the European bee a subspecies, some of these are crossed with the African bee making them a little more defensive.  The New Zealand Bee is supposed to be more docile, but I can say that when I was using a rotorvator on my allotment in the UK I was brushing off the bees from my clothes where they had tried to sting me.  I do know that in certain parts of Africa bees are used to deter Elephants from damaging crops that cross their usual migratory paths and also provide the farmers with another income. They are taught how to look after the bees and process the end products, this is proving to be a natural barrier and a healthy nutritional by-product.

There is another byproduct they produce its called propolis. This is used by bees who hang their nests from trees to deter ants. They spread it along the branches making a sticky barrier. Collected, it is used in cosmetics, so ladies even your skin benefits. Here they use a honey skin cream to deter the black mosquitoes and biting flies it works and is good for the skin in the heat, smells nice too.

Then there is beeswax used for polishing and producing the wonderful glow seen on aged furniture. The wax is mixed with a little vegetable oil to make it pliable at room temperature; it also acts as an oil for doors and windows. The obvious other use is candles they burn long and smell sweet. When we visit a honey fair we buy several candles for that reason.

Something you may not know is they kill intruder wasps and hornets by surrounding them in a ball of bees, this produces such a lot of heat that the wasps are killed. Way to go bees….

So apart from providing a delicious food, cleaning product, and their stings being used to treat arthritis,  it is most important that we save these important creatures and do so now not in a few years when it may be too late but now this year.  The population of this world is growing fast and we need to produce more food, without these little pollinators crops will fail and well no crops no food no us…..

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I am a lady, long slender and tempting. Only please, if you are looking for a mate, make no appointments for tomorrow you won’t make them. Please do not think I am not appreciative of your advances, I am, it’s just I happen to be very fond of  small men and you fit the menu. mmmm.

I find that hanging around places like this or sitting on leaves is a perfect place to find my lunch No! I mean love. (must remember not to mention food just now).  I get hungry around now you look divine fancy a… (no, no stop it not yet) Yes, I am looking for a husband but somehow I can’t seem to find one or if I do I can not keep him. Is it something I say or something I do? please tell me, I really need to know and you look such a kind handsome understanding Mantis.  Oh yes I would like to have children and I am sure you would make a good father.

You would like to marry me? me? who never gets to be the bride, you want to marry me? Oh no no I’d love to be Mrs Mantis I really would.

No officer I really don’t know what happened. We had a wonderful courtship, he was very attentive and showed himself to be very caring and when we tied the knot he seemed so happy then he just lost his head…..

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