Sunday, 9 October 2011

Forest, cats, bruises, and a giant water bug

My afternoons have been busy, providing respite to a family with a palliative person in the home.
I haven't time to do much. It is emotionally draining. As a caregiver one must look after oneself: sleep, eat well, exercise and manage your stress. I always tell my clients that they have to put the oxygen mask on themselves first, and then look after loved ones. For me that means working out and playing in my forest.
This is the dead tree I've been chopping. It nestled, tilted, between a couple of young cedar, blocking their light. I've been hacking away at it for days. It is excellent therapy.

Of course, this work isn't without its danger. I have two big bruises.
On the same leg...

My boys, Felix and Buster, are most helpful in the forest. They like to run up and down the logs. I have to watch when I use the axe, although they usually get bored and take off somewhere. Often they'll go visit the frog pond, where my fall crocus are beginning to bloom.
The mouse has been digging holes around the pond, but doesn't seem to eat my new wee bulbs. Thank goodness.

I've been cutting a pathway through the forest, and they are right there for me! I like to Take a walk on the wet side!
And what an interesting world.

Buster (left)-with short hair, Felix - longer haired

I've written about the coyotes in our wetland/forest/bog. This is their night song:

This means getting the cats in before dark. I heard the coyotes just before dark, or even dusk, and this isn't a good sign. We hustled to get the felines in before the canines took over the forest.

As I was calling at the back door I spotted this bug on my upper deck. After much research (Bug Guide), I found out what it is.

Belostomatidae (Giant Water Bug)
Belostomatidae is a family of insects in the order Hemiptera, known as giant water bugs or colloquially as toe-biters, electric-light bugs. They are the largest insects in the order Hemiptera, and occur worldwide, with most of the species in North America, South America and East Asia. They are typically encountered in freshwater streams and ponds.
Of course, our ponds are all dried up, and our wetland is only really damp!
It hustled away, off the deck, thankfully. Probably about 4 cm ( 1 ½")  long.


Latane Barton said...

You be careful, girl. Sawing logs can be dangerous..... uh, I see that you found that out!!

Kay L. Davies said...

Ugh to the big bug, but hello to the forest cats.
Those bruises look painful. I have two bruised knees from almost two weeks ago and they still hurt when I touch them.
Take care of yourself.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

SandyCarlson said...

Take good care of yourself, my friend. I admire your stamina. God bless.

Red said...

You need to get a litle chain saw instead of chopping. Now chopping gives you more exercise!

Jenn Jilks said...

It is good exercise, Red. And I have a chain saw but don't know how to use it.

Rusty said...

Use caution handling those giant water beetles. They have a long and very sharp 'spear' which folds under their body. To the unwary it can inflict a very painful wound.

On the other hand, gotta love those ladybugs in the garden. ATB!