Friday, June 1, 2012
Formication and Slug Fest
The tent caterpillars are now dropping like rain from their webs after the feeding frenzy, having denuded most of the soft leaf trees on Lotus Island. They are now resting for two weeks on any object they fall on, including the unwary. As they fall on the neck or head or clothing of the passer-by they perform jactitations, swiveling and squirming here and there, giving rise to feelings like formicatiom that linger in one's mind into the night in bed when one wakes with the distinct sense that something is still crawling on the limb and trunk. Soon the worms that survive will cocoon 'til the middle of July and then emerge in force as yellow orange moths. Imagine the bizarre tactile hallucinations of the psychiatric patient afflicted with symptoms of formication and the desperation to sweep or swat what is not there. The rain forest on Lotus Island has also had a profusion of slugs as well, munching the vegetation below in concert with the caterpillars as the trees are munched above, the ground feeding especially vexing to the gardener of iris and dahlia. However,the nightly visits to the garden by the gardener, dividing the slugs in half with sharp secateurs as he weaves through the rain of worms, is the most humane and satisfying of pursuits. The small bodies of the slugs and caterpillars, oozing out the green juices of the gardener's vegetation, when chopped, is sweet revenge. Tossing at night,waking in a world of squirm and slime! Carpe diem!