Here with Mom

I didn’t get a lot of Muse action during my drive yesterday. I think I’ve pissed her off. You know when a woman says, “I’m fine,” that you’d better duck.

There were a few tiny developmental ideas for things that don’t even have a book to put them in. Something tells me I’ve neglected Lorelei and she’s making me suffer for it. I will get back to drafting new material, but life has gotten in the way.

This weekend is all about visiting, and I thought I should mention the drive.

There were plenty of the standard things to look at, but some were more fun than others. I saw one deer and a couple herds of antelope. There were white pelicans on Wildhorse Reservoir, and some sandhill cranes in the fields.

I ran over a blow snake in Owyhee Canyon. This is a winding narrow highway with a river beside it. I never saw him until it was too late. I felt bad, but wasn’t about to swerve into the river. These guys are also called bull snakes, but are properly a gopher snake.

When I got to Grassmere there is a small ranching area. Something had been spilled on the highway, and there were tracks through it from a dually, one-ton truck. Not unheard of in an agricultural area. It kind of looked like manure or something.

I never paid it any attention until the tracks turned off the highway, but the spillage continued. Looking closer it was something small and almost pelletized. About the size of coffee beans. Oh shit!

I let my foot off the gas and slowed to a more realistic speed. I generally travel about 80 mph through the desert. Lower velocity allowed me to see them hopping.

They were Mormon crickets. They weren’t as big as I usually see, but then, it’s only May. The might get up to three inches by mid-summer and I would have known immediately.

These guys can cause what amounts to a grease slick on the highway as cars run them over. The first swarm lasted for twenty miles, but ended at the Nevada border. There were three or four other swarms in Nevada.

These things never existed when I was a kid. The government used to control them, and I never saw one until a couple decades ago. Government controls are bad for everything else, like songbirds and anything that feeds on songbirds and small rodents. I’m glad they stopped poisoning, but here is the result.

Nasty buggers, and I’m sure my truck is filthy. No sense trying to address that until I drive through them again on the way home.

Anyway, I’m here and having a nice visit. I hope all of you are enjoying the weekend, and if you need a good book to relax with I could make a recommendation.