Tag Archives: bugs

Special Request: The Nurse’s Rose Bush

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My hand still hurts from using those cheap decorative scissors, but I guess it was worth it.

They asked me to do an extra bulletin board for the nurse’s office. The health aide had painted the bulletin board and added the paw print border and the letters but then she didn’t know what to do with the rest of the space, so the attendance clerk’s idea was to let me fill it in. Which I did. I couldn’t find any pinking shears so I ended up buying a set of 12 “decorative scissors” for $13 just to get the ones with the zigzag edge, and let me tell you, you get what you pay for. Those scissors were just awful, but I wanted to make the leaves jagged like rose leaves are.

I had the Girl to help out one of the days, so she cut 30 leaves, which is more than I thought she’d manage. I cut 170, making 200 leaves total. There are 27 roses, 12 ladybugs hiding in the foliage, and 6 yellow butterflies. This one took forever, in part because each little component was time-consuming, and in part because I was so busy last week that I never had any long blocks of time to focus.

As I finished, I told the aide, “Let me know when the kids destroy this one and I’ll make you another.” And she said, “The kids are not allowed to touch it!” And I said, “Yeah, but they will.” However, it will last longer than the designs I do in the breezeway because it’s inside, protected from the elements, and there will never be unsupervised kids around it. Any kid who gets near this delicate papercraft will necessarily be no more than 5 feet away from an adult. So I give it until at least next fall.

If you want to see some close up pictures of the flowers you can check out this little gallery on my Instagram (taken with my Moto X4). If you like flowers, cactus, pets, food, or my art, you should totally be following my Instagram. I’m hubris_and_smoke.

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More Monsoon Comics: Giant Bug Edition

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For some reason, some people don’t appreciate the beauty of a giant beetle flying into things and dying tragically in your swimming pool filter.

The ASDM webpage on which I found the reference photo of the larval beetle offers this statement of caution for desert motorcycle enthusiasts who don’t wear helmets: “Being hit in the face by a beetle this size can be quite painful.” That’s probably an understatement; one flew into my head earlier this month and I wasn’t even coming toward it at 60 miles an hour and it still felt like being hit by a rock.

Anyway, I think these creatures are fascinating, and, for whatever reason, they don’t feel like cockroaches to me. My response to cockroaches is visceral and immediate; if one crosses my path, I feel compelled to smash it as if it’s a vicious, carnivorous alien (even though cockroaches are harmless, vegetarian, and have been around longer than humans). My response to giant palo verde beetles is, “Cool! It’s a giant bug!” And then I take a picture and send it to my nephew or something. He’s at a prime age to appreciate giant bugs.

My first script had the final panel as some snarky remark about how maybe these insects had it all figured out and maybe we’d be better off if we spent our childhood and adolescence underground and then had thirty days to mate before dying, leaving the next generation to figure things out on its own. Then I thought I’d go for a straight biology story, with only a little snark. Then I finished the artwork and thought the panels looked kind of blank, so I put the snark back in, in word balloon form. That’s why the text doesn’t quite fit the space.

Mildly Unsettling Macros

There will be no trigger warnings. This post encapsulates my mood right now with a fair degree of accuracy.

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Here’s a momento mori for you. We all die. Tomatoes sooner than humans, usually.

Feeling positively nasty today, a fine combination of chronic pain, sleep deprivation caused by chronic pain, and that weird, crusty, dirtiness of a day-old tattoo that begs to be washed but at the same time prevents you from taking a good shower or hot tub soak, because you spent a lot of money on that tattoo and you need to baby it if you want to keep it.

So, even though I had a comic idea, there’s no way I can use the tablet tonight. I can barely type. So, here are some macros. The first one is a dead leaf from last year’s tomato plant. Not my plant even; I’ve never successfully grown a tomato bigger than a marble out here.

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Yech. Blech. Meh.

This is an aphid infestation on a bean plant. They are fava beans, to be specific, but I hesitate to mention that fact, because the second you say “fava beans,” people’s brains fall out of their ears and all they can do it babble on about a nice chianti. This picture isn’t even that great, but it makes me kind of itchy.

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No, thank you. Feel free to leave at any time.

Finally, this is a mouse that The Man found inside his gym shoe. Apparently my cat was losing her freaking mind over it. Most likely, she brought this little vermin in the house to play with and then got annoyed when it didn’t want to play. I didn’t want to play with it either. I wanted The Man to remove it from the house. He wanted me to photograph it, which is why it’s in a mason jar here instead of a shoe. He thought that he should put a mouse inside a vessel I use to store food.

Hopefully I sleep tonight, because 3 days without sleep renders me pretty useless. And allow me to point out that yesterday I was so tired that I literally forgot my car. I mean, I left it downtown and came home without it and then realized well into the night that my car was very far away, which would have a large impact on my day today. So, if yesterday I lost my car and today I was unable to go to my volunteer job or draw a comic, just imagine how hilariously I’ll screw my life up tomorrow if I don’t sleep again.