Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cute, adorable, revolting: we have it all here at KW!

First let's go with cute and adorable...


Four more ducklings hatched last night! So far we have five. I will try to get more photos today, but they were all tucked up under Mama this morning. There are three eggs left to hatch. I hope they crack open today.


This is where the babies spent the last 37 or so days.



Not exactly the Ritz, as my friend Mo said! Hard work breaking out of that shell, too.


And now we have the Eeeeyuw! factor. It was extremely hot on Sunday (our car thermometer read 36C in the afternoon) and when we got home around midnight, there were eight billion bugs flying around the huge "Klieg light" we have on our TV antenna. Our front door was covered in bugs, including the biggest Canadian bug I have ever seen:


Meet the GIANT WATER BUG!


BEADY LITTLE EYES!!


Aka the Electric Light Bug, Toe Biter, or Fish Killer: order Hemiptera, family Belastomatidae. This sucker was about 2-1/2" long, and he totally freaked me out. They are attracted to light, but fortunately not human flesh. But if they do decide to, say, sample your finger, apparently your arm can swell up to such an extent that you lose the use of it for a week or two!



The little bastards can inflict a really painful "bite" by stabbing you with their front "beak," so I'm glad I didn't pick it up (not that I was tempted!!)

These bad boys kill their prey by injecting their victims with an enzyme that turns their insides to liquid which the Giant Water Bug can then suck out. Yum. Tasty.

They eat insects, tadpoles, small fish, frogs and SALAMANDERS. Good grief, a Canadian bug that can eat a SALAMANDER?! They are one of the biggest bus in Canada. Here's a good page of info about them. And they fly really well, which is why this one was a long way from any body of water.

Here...



MUCH better!


30 comments:

  1. That bug is not indigenous to this planet!

    Please tell me that someone put a muzzle and lead on it and took it away to be made into roof tiles or something.

    Give me ducklings any day!

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    1. They could make an alien movie about that bug sucking out people's insides...

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    2. Owl Wood, I am sensing that you are not a big fan of our insecty friends! Fortunately it just scuttled off on its own,

      And that bug DEFINITELY belongs in an alien movie!

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  2. I knew Giant Water Bugs could give a nasty bite. I didn't know they could eat frogs and salamander! And there he is keeping company with the June bugs with their icky sticky feet.Definitely prefer the super adorable fluffy chicks.

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    1. Me neither!!! Man, respect that bug! And the Junebugs seem more prolific than usual this year. When I walk outside a night, I keep my mouth closed because I'm afraid one will fly in!

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  3. The photo with June bugs really gives some size perspective! Do you live near a lake or river? Where do those awful things come from? If they eat frogs and salamanders, I sure hope they don't eat ducklings!

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    1. It was HUGE, especially for here. If I'd been in the tropics, okay, fine. But eastern Ontario!? Apparently it's one of the biggest bugs in Canada.

      We do have a creek that runs through our farm, and a pond, and at the very back of the farm, a river! So I'm sure it flew up from there but eeeeeyuw. I don't want to see it in flight, either!!

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  4. Everytime I hear a buzzying fly, I get in a homicidal mood. Then I remember Roland Young's poem:

    "Here goes the happy bounding flea
    You cannot tell the He from She
    The sexes look alike you see
    But she can tell, and so can he."

    I'm not sure I would apply this to the Giant Bug!!!!!!
    Do hope too that a sweet duckling is not on his menu list.

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    1. Frankly, Claude, it wouldn't surprise me if he did have a taste for ducklings!! But I bet mama duck will kill him first!

      Love the poem!

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  5. I'll take the cute duckling over the water bug any day! And I thought the dobsonflies we have around here were disturbing.

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    1. I was pretty amazed at the size of it. I just keep thinking "That does not belong here!" But apparently it does!

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  6. Ducklings are sweet but that water bug is a beaut!

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    1. THose beady eyes...

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    2. I have to agree. Those adorable pincers and that cute little sucking mouth make this the funnest blog post evar!

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  7. Awww!!! ... ewww!!! ewww!!! ewww!!! .... AWWWWW!!!!
    I've never been both so mesmerized and disgusted at the same time in a blog :)

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  8. I'm looking forward to seeing some more of the ducklings - not keen on that ugly bug though, especially when I read what he can do.

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    1. I will oblige with more fuzzy ducklings, and I also have some great honeybee pics to post that will probably send your brother screaming from the blog again! ;)

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  9. Ronna the duck looks so damn proud!

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    1. SHe's such a good mama and she trusts me WAY more than EUgenia did last year. She lets me handle the babies, no problem!

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  10. Jesus H. Christ! Where's a sledgehammer when you need one? NO amount of duckling cuteness can alleviate that bug's horrilibiliousness.

    Word.

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    1. HAHAHAHAHA! I laughed out loud when I read that. But think of the MESS if you hit that sucker with a sledgehammer. Guts EVERYWHERE. EEEEEEEYUW!

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  11. I guess its creepiness serves to warn us from getting too close. (Or as Katnip says, only as close as a sledgehammer.) I'm just glad my attempts to capture much smaller versions in my grandfather's watering tank were unsuccessful.

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    1. I often pick up bugs so I'm glad I listened to my cavewoman brain screaming "RUN! RUN!" and refrained from handling it. Although it would have been a good, if painful, story.

      Sledgehammer it is!

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  12. Pretty exciting! Thanks for sharing. My brother always had ducks when we were little kids.

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    1. THey are just too sweet for words when they are little like that. So adorable.

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  13. Oh CRAP.....please tell me that 'RAID' works.
    Jane x

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    1. You'd probably need an entire can for that sucker!

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  14. I have very few MAJOR fears in life but big beetle-like insects is one of them.

    That thing is insane and I am traumatized for the rest of the day.

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    1. Ooops, sorry about that!! :)

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!