Monday, October 01, 2007

Monday Malarkey with Plague, Cotton, and Two Handsome Guys

This weekend, we drove up through the Mississippi Delta to a swim meet. It was around 9AM when we left home, so the fog had lifted. And, yet, I kept seeing what appeared to be clouds, close to the ground. What on earth were they? It was too late in the morning for any fog to remain. They looked a bit like columns of smoke coming off the fields, but there didn't appear to be any fires and, anyway, it would be awfully odd for the entire Delta to be aflame in tiny little bits and pieces. After about thirty minutes on the road, we came close enough to one of those rotating columns to see what the deal was . . . they were clouds of insects, like little mini Biblical plagues.

Yuck! Curious people just have to see for themselves, though, so we pulled over and hopped out to take photographs. If you enlarge the second photo, you can see wings and bodies - not clear enough to identify, but enough to make it plain that they were definitely insects. Whatever they are, dragonflies apparently eat them, as there were dragonflies zipping around, also.

September is cotton harvest time, so we also pulled onto a narrow dirt road to snap photos of the cotton before it's all gone - a good portion of the fields have already been harvested. Cotton is so pretty when it's ready for harvest.

And, at the end of all that nonsense was the swim meet - just a tiny meet with three teams. Delta State University has a very nice natatorium and with only three teams there was plenty of seating. The meet was very pleasant. Kiddo had a goggle disaster that slowed him down significantly in his first event (they call it "eating goggles" - when the goggles slip down and end up in the swimmer's mouth), but otherwise did well.

We took a circuitous back-route from Cleveland, MS to Jackson and discovered that:
a.) There's an awful lot of interesting life on those back roads
b.) It would have been faster to return home and then double back to Jackson - there simply is no direct route to the big city from the Delta
c.) Mississippians are friendly. But, we already knew that. At my other blog, there's a photo of a tree full of egrets that a very nice man pointed out to us, when we were pulled to the side to photograph a smaller group of them.

And, last but not least, we met up with the eldest and ate dinner with him. Here are my boys outside the restaurant:

I finished one book, late last night, and have decided to count it as an October read. September round-up will be next, followed by a review of The Collection by Gioia Diliberto. This was not a great reading week; I'm still balancing 4 other reads and not likely to finish any of them soon. Happy Accidents is grabbing me the hardest, so I may try to focus on that one and get it finished, in the next few days.

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!



  1. Hope you didn't inhale any of those bugs. You make me really glad we don't get anything like that around here. Urgh.

    Great picture of the boys!

  2. I didn't know what I was going to read when I saw a blog post with the word "plague" in it...thank God it was just clouds of insects :p Very strange phenomenon...we get those little bugs here too, but not in those proportions!

    It sounds like such a cool little road trip. I love that photo of the egrets on your other blog, just saw it last night. It's amazing what you can find on such a short road trip! I always think that I have to drive to some far away place or another state to find something interesting, but if you meander into the right unknown direction, it's like a little treasure trove of interesting sights!

  3. Kookie,

    Believe me, my mouth was soooo not hanging open when I stood there photographing clouds of bugs. Urgh is right! I didn't post my absolute favorite, a longer exposure that shows their zig-zag paths. Don't ask me why. Sometimes I don't even know how I choose which photos to post.

    Thanks. You and I are both surrounded by handsome men, aren't we?


    Well, let's be honest, you never know what you're about to read when you come here, do you?
    Yeah, we get clouds of insects on occasion. I've never seen them in such quantity and so frequently. That was what really amazed me - a full hour of passing clouds of insects. Entire fields had columns rising every few feet; it was astonishing.

    The trip up through the Delta is always fun. And, those back roads were pretty interesting, too. We'd never have seen the tree full of egrets if we hadn't happened to go the long way. Fortunately, it was a short meet. We got home very late and I'd hate to have already been worn out from a lengthy meet before we got into the car!

  4. Ya know, not knowing what to expect is part of the reason I come here...

    The bugs would've creeped me out. Don't much care for flying hordes of insects.

    Such handsome young men and you can certainly tell they're brothers!


  5. I commented on your post on LOTTERY. Let me know when you post your review! And I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    Much aloha to you,

  6. 3M,

    Why, thank you. :)


    Ha! I love it. Apparently, I'm full of surprises in the real world, too, as my husband claims it's the best thing about me. The henpecking doesn't thrill him. LOL

    The bugs were a wee bit creepy, but my need to photograph anything that moves has a tendency to override such feelings. You should see the spider I photographed, yesterday. Ewwwww!

    Thank you. People are always telling me my kids look alike and I think, "Yeah? How?" But, they always said that about my sister and me, also. All I could see was the differences. Maybe we don't see similarities when we're too close.

    Hi Pat!

    My review of Lottery will be in the October issue of Estella's Revenge ezine, which I assume will be posted within the next day or two. I'll let you know. It's all positive because I loved Lottery so much I had to force myself to close it the first night I began to read (and gobbled the rest of it up, the next day, in spite of the post late-night headache). When I saw your comment I thought to myself, "That is so cool!" Ha! Perry hasn't left me, yet!

    P.S. I'll be in Hawaii in December, but not your island. Darn.

  7. Great picture of your boys! They always look so happy. :)

    How bizarre about those bugs! I wonder what they were. Knats?

    You're going to HAWAII?!?!?! Yay for you!!!!!!!!

  8. Anonymous10:38 AM

    Go dragonflies! *shudders at the density of bugs*

  9. Les,

    Thank you. I think they're both handsome but, of course, you know I'm wildly biased. :)

    We were guessing the bugs were gnats till we got up close and then they looked a bit larger than I expected. But, I really don't know. Plague bugs. LOL

    Yep, I'm doing a tag-along trip to Hawaii. David has to go there on business and he *insisted* that I must come along (since I missed Italy and Australia). Admittedly, I didn't fight him too much. It's something to look forward to.

  10. LOL! Heather, those were my sentiments exactly. Insect clouds are not a favorite of mine. :)

  11. They haven't seen the termite swarms have they?lol. I could have told you those back roads in ms hold a lot of characters. I lived on them for 42 years before moving to Oregon.Glad to have found your blog.

  12. Yolanda,

    Oh, ugh, termite swarms - evil things. We were invaded a few years back and it was like stepping into a horror movie.

    I'm so glad you found me! Are you a native Mississippian? We sometimes count deer or hawks on our trips to swim meets. There's an abundance of wildlife in Mississippi. I think that's what I love most about living here. I've never been to Oregon, but it's on my wish list of places to go. :)


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