About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

Smelly Bugs Are in the Air.
Smelly Bugs Are Everywhere.

A few years ago I was raking leaves on a day very much like this one: unseasonably warm and sunny, except it was after the winter instead of before it. A cloud of Asian lady beetles surrounded me as I raked and grumbled, with this poem effortlessly taking shape:

Smelly bugs are in the air,

Smelly bugs are everywhere.
They look like ladybugs, I think,
But boy oh boy! Do they ever stink!
They fly, they bite, they cover the door,
They're like a carpet on the floor.
Smelly bugs, I hate them so.
I almost wish we still had snow.

Asian lady beetles have been known as smelly bugs at our house ever since.

The smelliness comes from a defensive reaction known as reflex bleeding, according to a  USDA fact sheet  that tells  you more about Asian lady beetles than you ever thought you'd want to know. The best way to trap them, says the USDA, is attract them with light, then sweep or vaccum up. Better still, keep them out by caulking exterior cracks and crevices.

But once you go out, they'll be waiting for you.

Flickr photo credit:  Burnt Umber  Poem was printed in the Askov American and appears here with editor Colette Stadin's consent. Read an Askov American column  by former editor Marlana Benzie-Lourey and reprinted in MinnPost. 

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