Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The dark side of the rains

It rained again yesterday afternoon, and it was lovely.

Until I got home.

Apparently, the side effect of the first rain is that all the termites come out like a swarm of locusts. When I got home my front doorstep was covered in dead termites, and once I got inside they were crawling all over the window screens, like zombies trying to get in.

My husband, who actually took a class on insects once (he even has a certificate on basic entomology or something) told me that the termites live in the ground during the dry season, then they all come out once the ground is saturated with water. Their wings are temporary, and the termites grow them just for this one special moment, when they get out of the ground to find a new place to live. Then they drop their big wings and settle down to find some wood to chew, presumably. So all the wings that I thought were attached to dead termites, were actually just evolutionary litter, and the very-much-alive termites are probably eating my house now.

But you have to take everything my husband says with a grain of salt. He once told me that Maple trees explode if their syrup isn't tapped. He heard it on NPR so he knew it was true.

We looked it up and he was right - it was on NPR. On April 1st.


Aunt Alanna said...

I found this to be just fascinating. A world of daily experiences, or seasonal experiences, we just don't think about. Your ability to adapt is so striking. I also must comment that the place is so colorful - the vegetation, the insects and animals, the people - dazzlingly rich and vivid. You must seem so white to them. Do you know?