Sunday, August 10, 2008


"What's the buzz, tell me what's a-happenin'
What's the buzz, tell me what's a-happenin'
What's the buzz?"

Jesus Christ, Superstar

The joys of August. The hum of summer tree frogs. The peepers who chirp us to sleep. Honey bees who visit the potted plants on our porch, and Lindy Loo's manic snapping jaws, trying to put a crushing end to the striped guests.

The giant, hairy, stupid flies who dart in the open back door as a dog is going in or out, and cause a tsunami wave of whippets crashing over lamps, end tables, vases and chairs to catch and kill the seemingly blind devils, which bump drunkenly into walls and ceilings, careening from room to room.

The lustful night bird who serenades his wife from 3:30 to 4:30 AM. I was mightily annoyed with him during my first summer here. In fact, dear readers, I'm embarrassed to admit to opening my window and yelling at the top of my croaky, sleep deprived lungs at him to, "For the love of Everything Holy Shut the F*** UP!!!" Yes, I am ashamed of that bad behavior now that I mostly sleep through his song, only smiling to myself as I turn over, remove Very Old Dog's foot from my nether parts, fix my pillow, and drift back to sleep to the strains of his lovely, loud lullaby.

August in this southern city brings a symphony of sounds. The First Chair belongs to the Cicadas. The locusts. Click HERE to hear a mating call. HERE it is in MP3. (Both recordings from The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
Insect Division )

As we walk, we find their discarded shells like autumn leaves on the sidewalks. And there is no greater delight for the whippets than finding a whole bug. No, I misspoke. Finding a whole dead Cicada is cause for instant pouncing, crunching, and swallowing. And they they do crunch. Louder than Fritos, or Rice Crispies or pork rinds. Empty-mouthed whippets eye the lucky muncher with envy.

But. Let a hapless live locust be innocently sunning on the sidewalk, and suddenly I am not walking sweet civilized whippets. I am leashed to Whippets of Mass Destruction. One whippet snatches up the bug, which immediately sounds his alarm call. Well that just sets the whole crew in a fit! The locustless whippets swarm the mouth of the lucky hunter, who spins away trying not to lose the prey, which is buzzing louder and louder trying to scare the mouth which holds it into opening.
No such luck. BUZZ! Swarm. Swoop. Dodge. BUZZ! Spin. Pounce. Duck. BUZZ!!
Wag, wag, wag, gloat! (the victor)
Gag. (me)
Hunt. (the whippets)

Life is good.

Hug your hounds


  1. This is our first summer in the "South" and me n Teka have discovered those buzzy bugs. We haven't tasted one yet, but we like to flip them over on their backs and watch them BZZZZZZZZ and clatter. Then muzzer rolls them over onto their little buggy legs, hoping (I suppose) to give them a chance to scurry away. just gives the doggles a chance to flip the buggy again! Then muzzer ends the game by nudging the bug upright and pulling us away quickly. Maybe we will try eating one! Ooooh. I'll bet we get Dadwalks for a week after that one.

    Teka wants to tell Swede William that she found a toad in the yard this morning, and gave it to E.Beth, who was still in bed. Teka wants to know if screaming is the usual way to than a dog for such a sweet gift? In his wisdom, she expects William to tell her.


  2. How you can sleep with those buzzzz sounds??
    I like to hunt bugs but they always run away from me!
    Kisses and hugs

  3. Ewwwwwh! You eat those?? We have those icky bugs here, but we never try to eat them. We have been trying to catch the leopard frogs & toads though, hehehehe. Have a fun weekend!
    Luv & Wirey Hugs!
    Butchy & Snickers

  4. It is so wonderful hearing all about your so different way of life (creatures we do not have, birds etc.) Computers and the Internet really have connected us, and we are so alike in many ways, but so different in others. I love it!

  5. Oh gosh do you remember when the 17-year locusts came to town? Maybe they didn't hit your neck of the woods but it was a big thing up here in Virginia. Talk about snack food! Mom just got so upset with us if she saw us eating one!


  6. Those summew sounds must be pwetty cool akshooally..maybe the whippets awe chinese???I'm not suwe I have a taste fow bugs..I know flies scawe me.
    Pleeez give my Sam I Am a special BIG smoochie kisss
    love to all of you, and happy hunting!

  7. So, I have to share my "what-the-dog-ate-story. We have a large area at the front of the house that is overrun with gophers. Needless to say, the dogs LOVE it out there. The little cocker mix disappears into the hole she is enlarging except for a butt and a little cropped tail. But the big guy, a dog of many nations, caught himself a live one. I came out the door commanding him to drop and he knew I would take it if he didn't act fast. He threw his head back and with one big gulp swallowed it whole, live and wiggling. The look on his face in the next moment was priceless. One of those I-can't-believe-I-just-did-that moments. Let us just say that he spent the next few days moping around and seriously stinking the place up. Haven't seen him with one since.

    And, I love the night sounds as well. The combo of frogs, cicadas and crickets sounds like sleigh bells to me. People think I'm crazy until I get them to stand silently in the night and listen. I've posted a poem about the frogs over on my blog. As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed myself here.

  8. we don't know about any of those kinds of bugs. we have spiders and ants and bees and we don't like any of them. lucky you dogs for getting to eat them. are they yummy?


  9. we don't have that many buzzs here, but if we did, we also have a little hunter who knows no fears and would deal with the little buggers in no time :)

  10. Francarrich from WWAugust 11, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    Whenever I get any buzzzzing, flying thing in my house it drives the whippet mad trying to catch it but when Aida (Japanese Chin) found a Maybug (Large, green/gold flying beetle thing) she was determined to crunch it up. I took it away from her & put it, now dead, in the wastepaper basket, only to find that she retrieved it & seemed to thoroughly enjoy eating it! - Weird!

  11. Apple used to get a wee bit nervous when we all would go on walks after dark in the summer. Those cicadas are loud! Doesn't bother her anymore and I'm glad to say neither Edward nor Apple catch them!

  12. we get those buzzing things around here sometimes, but I NEVER eat them!! Mom said they used to get them like mad when she was growing up back east, I am thankful we don't have them like that!

    Mom saw Jesus Christ, Superstar in Pittsburgh and she thought it was GREAT!

  13. We have that buzz now too....PL2 loves it but PL1 says it reminds him of the end of summer which brings the beginging of school(he is a teacher) and then winter....Can you tell who is the postive one here??!! Hee Hee Love A+A

  14. Wow, big bugs...Maisie would love that!

    I totally cracked up about the night birds singing. I had the same thing going in when I lived in California...the Mockingbirds would start chirping at 3:00am. I swear I wanted to get a beebe gun!

  15. We had a cicada ISSUE in Chicago's suburbs. Couldn't even walk from the car to the house without crunching crunching. Yuck. They are so ugly too! Glad we don't have them here - we enough tropical fauna to deal with!

  16. I hate bugs. We've had flies really bad this year and those are about to drive me crazy. They think I'm a horse or something and won't stay off of me!


  17. Bugs are everywhere there and here. What would the dogs do without them. :)


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