I'm pretty familiar with the insect life of Northern Indiana/Southern Michigan.  I lived there for a good chunk of my life.  Instinctively I just know about plant life there, what perennials can survive the harshness of a Midwest winter, when to plant a garden to avoid the risk of frost, when wheat is planted, the rotation of crops, the predominant trees that fill the Midwestern landscape, what too many gray days and the up and down of the barometric pressure does to one's mind, spirit and body. 

I understand the onslaught of box elder bugs, lady bugs and stink bugs in the late summer/ early fall that precede the first cold harsh frost.  The sight of farmers out to beat old Mr. Weather for several weeks in the spring and fall are like the familiarity of the large vein I see on the back of my left hand every time I look at it.  I know that whirly gigs from maple trees like to fill the eaves of any house near where they are.  I recognize the sound of those last dead oak leaves rustled by a November wind without even looking at the tree.  I know that when you hear the cicada in mid to late summer it means six-eight weeks until the first frost comes.  Raccoons and opossums are common pests that seek food from garbage cans, dog food bowls and even the garden if hungry enough.  I know the weather in Indiana is like a switch usually ushering in the next season quickly instead of gradually most of the time..

There is not much I do know about where I am now, except that everyday the sun comes up brilliantly set against a big blue sky.  I know that it is cool in the morning, warm in the day and cool again in the evening.  I know that I have never seen (short of a Texas sky) so many stars at night.  I pretty much know that I don't instinctively know much about Arizona or much about Prescott like I do about Indiana. 

I don't cook much with recipes.  That doesn't always help family members who want recipes.  Cooking is a feeling and instinctive thing for me.  I suppose I operate best in instinctively feeling my way through things.  I'm most definitely not there with this culture, these geographics, this flora or the critter and insect world, yet.

There are bugs and creatures here that are not present in the Midwest.  Case in point, tarantulas are not found in the wild in Indiana unless they are escapees from a cage in some quirkily strange teenager's room. 
Walking down a mountain road yesterday Doug looked down and saw something.  We both bent over to see what it was.  It was a dead tarantula!  Still quite large even though it had met death by the tire of a car as it no tried to cross the road.  I don't have instinctive knowledge but fear!

The black ravens here have to be the same ones used in Alfred Hitchcock's, "The Birds".  They grow to a size of approximately 25-30 inches tall with wing spans of 4 feet or more - similar to the size of a hawk. Their caw is loud and somewhat scary as well.  My husband says it is a bad omen to have one perch on the roof of a house (no doubt one of his mother's Muriel-isms).  If that is the case, the whole population of Arizona is doomed.  They can pick up small creatures like a hawk.  Sometimes, while out for a walk or run by myself, I fear they might fly at me and peck me to death!

I don't know the plant life here at all except to be able to say, with some measure of confidence, "Look at that cactus!".  I have no real knowledge, instinctiveness without having been taught or garnered over time, of what plants survive the hot sun, how long a shingled roof lasts here or a paint job on a houses' exterior. 

It's been good to be shoved out of my comfort zone of instinctive knowledge.  I do know this; I will most definitely take tarantulas and sunny blue skies daily over volatile rising and falling barometric gray Indiana and infestations of lady bugs.  

Check back with me after I have seen a scorpion or a rattlesnake up close.  I know I don't like either of those. 

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhh...but Prescott doesn't have ME in THERE is a huge negative!