Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Tuesday in The South

Seen in August's Southern Living article about the horrid spring storm season:

As Southerners, we know that a man with a chain saw is worth 10 with a clipboard, that there is no hurt in this world, even in the storm of the century, that cannot be comforted with a casserole, and that faith, in the hereafter or in neighbors who help you through the here and now, cannot be knocked down.

                                                                                          -- Rick Bragg

I kinda like that.

This is the most recent of the various stinging caterpillars with whom I've crossed paths in the front yard.  I don't know what variety he is, but he was very colorful, and chubbier than the Ios and Buckmoths and Tussocks I've seen.

The Louisiana Agricultural Center offers these words of wisdom about stinging caterpillars:

Stinging caterpillars are a nuisance to adults, but can be serious hazards to small children, because the youngsters are attracted to the pests’ bright, unusual colorations. Sprays are not normally applied except for the buck moth, since it occurs in large numbers. Control of the other species is seldom needed except for knocking an occasional specimen to the ground and mashing it.

Not being one to ignore sage advice, and having been on the receiving end of those spines, I can report that this particular caterpillar is no longer among the living.

I spent much of the afternoon spraying mold and trying to avoid the spores that jumped out at me after being doused with bleach.  Living in a hundred year old house located in humidity-central has taught me a whole new, and unexpected, skill set.  It has also instilled in me a deep and abiding appreciation for duct tape.

And thus it goes on a mid-August Tuesday in the south.  Life at Moogie's Mansion, trying to stay one step ahead of the lizards.


  1. I didn't know about stinging caterpillars until I picked one up. I was not pleased.

  2. I feel your pain, PH! Been there.

  3. ...knocking an occasional specimen to the ground and mashing it.

    Heh. That made me grin. "Mashing," a technical term for dispatch with extreme prejudice. "Squishing" works, too.

  4. Yep, Buck -- squishing is the maneuver I performed on that critter.

  5. I remember all those lizards from our days in Mobile. My boys used to let them bite their ear lobes and dangle like earrings.
    Mold and mildew... ahhh... remember that stuff as well.