Independence Day: It ain't in July

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I know, I know. Most of you probably celebrate it then, but for the folks in my county school system Independence Day is actually June 5th. You see that's the last teacher work day for the year - and BOO-Yeah to that. Let freedom ring! (see teachers sing. Ha. ;o) I would like, however, for everyone to stand briefly and give a big round of applause to those stalwart [semi-sane] unsung heroes who bravely face untold chaos and bedlam twice daily for a [gotta be] paltry paycheck. Who are these amazing folks you might ask? None other than your friendly (okay, sometimes grouchy but can you blame them?) neighborhood bus driver. Here on the Redneck Riviera, this particular vehicle is often referred to as the...
Although I often question my sanity when it comes to my own job, there is no question whatsoever when it comes to theirs:  There isn't enough money on this planet to entice me to drive a bus. Never. Ever. Period.
DD is starting her last semester of college (can you believe it?) She made the President's List this time, and rolled her eyes at my silly happy dance before tossing me the letter and asking me what that one meant. I can't remember if I told you, but we had a similar conversation the semester before last when she received a "You made the Dean's List" letter. This is where all that peripheral information comes in handy (and for deaf kids if it doesn't come up directly, it's just not there). I was going to post the letter for my photo, but I put it somewhere safe so it wouldn't get lost, which I'm sure most of you know means I have absolutely no clue where I stashed it. *sigh*
Although this next photo is about a topic I wouldn't normally broach, it was just way too entertaining to keep to myself. All I can say is, for that price it better be some doggone serious AHHHH:
*Note: if you look carefully, you'll see that it's actually for nine of them which works out to around $20 each (sure looked funny on the shelf though ;o)
Have you ever heard of a Spider Wasp? I hadn't until I shot the following video clip and did a little research. I walked out on the patio to feed the horses the other day, and spotted a large (wolf?) spider. After I got all of the eeew out of my system, I grabbed a feed bag thinking to just flip him into the grass. Before I could, however, a red bug with bright blue wings whizzed by my ear and dive bombed the spider. Whoa, really?!? I stood there, stupified (all agog, mouth hanging open, looking pretty much like a serious idiot) as the wasp and spider started fighting. (Photo Credit to Wikipedia).
The brain kicked in a few seconds later and said, "CAMERA, DOPEY!!" I sprinted into the house, grabbed it and dashed back outside hoping I could capture some of the battle. Probably not my best video, but between the size of my subjects and the movement it was pretty tough to follow. And hey, let's not forget the USI factor (unidentified stinging insect). If you're an email friend, click here to go to our Vimeo page. For the rest of you, here it is:

Spider vs. Wasp from Jen on Vimeo.
Ready for what I learned? Head's up; it's pretty gross :oP The female spider wasp will attack and subsequently paralyze a spider using her venom. She does not kill it, but uses it as a sort of living incubator. She will lay an egg inside the spider, and when the larvae emerges, it will pretty much eat the spider from the inside out. The wasp larvae will continue to feed on the spider (who is completely aware, but immobile - and ick) as it develops, instinctively preserving the internal organs for last, thereby keeping the spider alive until it is ready to fly. Now that is one stone cold bug. Guess school wasn't quite finished after all, eh? *laugh*
Have a marvelously blessed week everyone, and thanks so much for reading this far!


  1. Ahhh, love that feeling of release when school is out! I used to have huge lists of things I wanted to accomplish. The first week, I'd go through quite a few things on the list. The second week, I'd hit one or two. By the third week I couldn't find the list... time to take it easy and have fun!

  2. I did not watch the video - the photo was enough to creep me out. I DO NOT LIKE BUGS!

    So have a happy summer....

  3. Oh my that is one mean and nasty bug. I only wish I would have waited until after dinner to read about

  4. Dreaming: You are quite right! I am actually getting quite a bit done. Unfortunately, none of it is at my house. *laugh*

    Grace: Icky, wasn't it? Take heart sistafriend; The battle was ultimately won by yours truly, who was armed to the teeth (with a full can of Raid ;o)

    Ann: Yep, probably not the best idea for an appetizer... *grin*

  5. Oh that is GROSS! That totally freaked me out and I'm sure it will make an appearance (or two) in my nightmares soon *shudder*
    Glad school is winding down for you, hope you're doing well, huggles :)

  6. Wow...I had to watch the little video since it happened in your backyard. That is totally crazy. And mean! The spider has to be alive still? That just seems unjust somehow. I now I realize that I'm rooting for spiders-time to go! ;)

  7. HiMeghannHiMeghannHiMeghann!! I'm so happy to see you! Does it show?!? *bounce*bounce*bounce* Hee.
    The video was awful, wasn't it? I've never particularly thought of bugs as violent (just icky ;o) I have since revised my opinion.

    Katy: Isn't it unreal? Since Corporal Raid and I "took out" the evil wasp queen, she didn't get to finish the job by laying an egg in him (and eww). A torrential rain that afternoon polished off the spider - I guess he washed away.
    There is definitely something wrong with a scenario in which we find ourselves pulling for a spider (but I was right there with you on that one, sistafriend ;o)

Your comments really brighten my day!

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