Its a “buggie” life…Flying insect photos from a pro..

These “bug/flying insect” photos were provided by Chris Kelly, a professional photographer on his recent visit to Tuscany.  He too, observed the vast number of flying insects inspiring him to take these excellent photos. Thanks, Chris! Great photos!
Looks like a regular bee, doesn’t it?

As a kid, when a bug, flying insect, mosquito or bees buzzed my head, I’d jump around and scream. Over the years living on a lake in Minnesota, I got over it, with an occasional jump but never a scream. Bugs were everywhere. 

By August, the wasps, yellow jackets and hornets flourished, practically dive bombing us when we attempted to enjoy the outdoors. Tom and I are both allergic to wasps and hornets.   

Over the years, on many occasions, my hand or foot would become swollen beyond recognition from a horsefly bite, with itching lasting for 10 days or more. Even a paltry mosquito bite could cause swelling and itching for days.

Really?  Please don’t stop by!

None the less, we spent considerable time outdoors days and evenings, swatting, spraying, dancing about to ward off the biting insects in Minnesota, the mosquito being the most prevalent.

When we arrived in Belize, we were plagued with the notorious no-see-ums, having as many as 100 bites at a time, they too, itching for many days and nights.  Once we moved to the air conditioned property in February with screens and air conditioning, we were well protected, especially at night.

Chris said he shot all of these insects on one single walk in Tuscany over a week ago.

The dilemma here in Boveglio boils down to the lack the screens or AC, not just on our house but in houses throughout the area.  I suppose the residents take them in their stride. We’ve yet to accomplish this feat. The exquisite blanket of vegetation covering the mountains, hills and terraced areas, provide a lush environment for flying insects along with a wide array of bugs we don’t recognize nor do we fear. 

Were it not for the risk of a serious reaction to a sting, neither of us would give it a thought.  Although anything buzzing around one’s head at night is rather annoying. As mentioned a few posts ago, we now keep all the windows and the door shut in our bedroom. Yesterday, lovely Lisa and Luca, the owners of the house, brought us a stand fan making last night’s sleep especially comfortable.

Yes, we’ve seen these buzzing around the flowering basil. No annoyance here.

Today, the temperature is in the low 90’s.  Luckily, in the evenings the temperature drops considerably. If we chose to open the windows in the bedroom at night, we may be inviting bats inside with the hundreds we’ve noticed flying around the house as we’ve sat on the veranda in the evenings. 

Yesterday morning, I heard an outrageous buzzing while chopping and dicing in the kitchen while Tom was in the other room.The kitchen window was opened. After awhile the buzzing stopped replaced by the lesser buzzing of other flying insects entering and leaving the kitchen through the open window.

This appears to be a type of moth, not so scary.

I should mention that we keep the organic waste, of which we have quite a bit due to cooking most of our meals, in a tightly closed and bagged container in the kitchen, emptying it often. We’re fully aware that such a container would surely attract bugs.  In our old life, we had garbage disposals, not the case after leaving Minnesota last Halloween. 

There are five separate containers for recycling down in the trash area. We sort and remove all of our trash frequently, keeping all windows closed anywhere near the  outdoor trash area.

Most likely, this insect doesn’t sting.

Back to the outrageous buzzing. This morning, again while chopping and dicing, I heard it again as did Tom.  Looking up at the log ceiling in the kitchen, we saw a yellow jacket or hornet coming out of a small opening near the mortar and the wood. Oh, no! Its making a nest inside the kitchen. Somehow, we shooed it outside the window.  Minutes later it came back inside working its way back inside the little hole in the ceiling.

Not feeling like driving down the mountain today to get some type of spray, our only option for today was to shoo the thing outside once more, when we weren’t able to kill it and proceed to close all the windows in the house.

These things are clever. Shall we wait to see if 25 baby hornets are born in the kitchen soon or shall we drive down the mountain to find a hardware store in order to purchase an appropriate spray (first, we’ll translate the possible verbiage).

Wanting to be outside awhile ago we spent an hour on the patio in our chaise lounges, swatting the flying things. With the herb garden growing within a foot of us, they were swarming us for the entire hour. Back inside, we’re now on the less-“buggie” veranda with a few flies, an occasional bee and less often, a gigantic loud hairy black dive bomber.

This resembles a beetle, not necessarily a stinging insect.

While researching the Internet this morning for possible solutions and descriptions of these flying insects, I stumbled across these amazing photos of a sampling of a few of the flying insects of Tuscany, taken by a professional photographer, Chris Kelly (yes, I’m jealous!) writing to him asking permission to use his photos. As it turns out he took these photos in Tuscany while he was vacationing here only a week ago. Chris was delighted to share his work, as us “web geeks” often are. 

Naming these must be left to the bug experts of the world. Please comment if you know the names of any of these. With literally millions of species on flying insects, it would be an impossible task to find their varieties in order to name them correctly.

As an aside, this morning while chopping and dicing I had intended to make a salmon salad using canned salmon as one would use canned tuna. We’d purchased two such cans while shopping a few weeks ago. 

With Tom having the leftover taco salad tonight, I though a big bowl of salmon salad atop shredded romaine lettuce and raw sliced veggies would be a perfect meal for me, along with plate of steamed green beans and sautéed eggplant. 

Whenever we have leftovers which is only enough for one of us, I make a single separate dinner for the other. Waste not, want not. Never wasting a morsel of food is our motto, hardly ever throwing away any leftovers. 

After chopping the fresh crispy celery, purple onion and hard boiled eggs using the Mezzaluna knife (see instruction video), placing them in a large mixing bowl, I opened the big can of salmon, poured off the excess juice and dumped it into the bowl. 

Instead of a glob of salmon freely popping out of the can, it was a batch of about 10 small fish. It was mackerel! Yikes and yuck! Well, my “waste not, want not” theory kicks in as I continued to make the salad. That’s my dinner tonight! I’ll have to eat the entire bowl so we won’t have more organic waste to attract more flying insects.