“Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we think”

Spring is in hiatus. My furnace is blasting away, and I’m glad as the house was cold this morning. There was no lingering to appreciate the flowers and the colors in my front garden when I went to get the papers. I noticed a few feeders need filling so I’ll venture out to the deck later. One errand only today: dog food and cat litter at Agway.

The Red Sox were tremendous yesterday. I wore my green Sox t-shirt and my blue sweatshirt with the World Series Emblem. Rally monkey sat and watched the entire game having nothing to do: the Sox led the whole time. We had hot dogs for lunch as befitting a ballgame. Much of the team is new, and this was their first game in a Boston uniform so we spent time trying to figure out who was at bat, but Pedroia we know and his first at bat was a single, a great way to open his season! I know it’s only one game, but it is the first opener the Sox have won in a while. It was a good afternoon.

Watching baseball made me impatient for summer. My deck is still wearing winter with all the furniture covered, the candles packed away and the yard ornaments in storage. I want warm mornings and breakfast on the deck. I can hardly wait for our first Saturday movie. I don’t have a theme for this year so I’ll have to start thinking and looking. I do have a new bird for the yard, a Christmas present. It is white, looks a bit like an egret and is huge. In my Easter basket was a small door and two small windows, obviously for a garden sprite to set up housekeeping. I also have some new lights, two stars with trails of lights, for the trees in the back. The backyard in summer is magical.

I remember lit punk sticks from when I was little. They had this smell I can still identify, and I loved waving the stick around as if it were a sparkler. I used to watch as the stick burned smaller and smaller. The smell kept the bugs away but I never noticed. It was the fun of the punk stick I remember the most.

We used mosquito coils in Ghana because lots of places had no screens. I really liked the smell of them as they burned. The coil had a hole at the smallest part, and you had to be careful when you fit the hole on the holder or the coil could break. The coils burned from the outside ring to the inside smallest ring. Ash just fell on the floor. Once, when my friends and I were hitching a ride from Koforidua to Accra, a Mercedes-Benz stopped. The owner of the car was a Lebanese man who made and sold mosquito coils. He gave us a few to take with us. The other part of that ride I remember is we were in the back seat where the smell of the exhaust was almost overpowering. We opened both windows and stuck our heads out so we’d survive the ride, but it was worth it: we got free mosquito coils and a ride in a Mercedes all the way to Accra.

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27 Comments on ““Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we think””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Another lovely day over here and it will continue like this over the weekend they say. But next week when spring will arrive, according to most predictions, so will the bad weather. Rain and perhaps snow for the entire week it seems. Well that’s April up here.

    I’ve never seen punk sticks here, only on movies. But we have extra long matches insetad but I don’t think that’s the same. But mosquito coils is something we can’t live without 🙂 I bought loads of them when I rented a cottage further north otherwise we never couöld have any door or window open even during hot sunny days. The mosquitoes up there were big as samm horses 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I think it was an omen about the season for the Red Sox! This year they’ll go all the way to the top 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      It’s cold. I went and got the dog food, no litter yet, and hurried home to the warmth of the house. Gracie isn’t out for long: she’s a dog who loves her comfort.

      The punk sticks burn slowly and are scented to keep the bugs away which matches aren’t. I have seen mosquito coil for sale here but haven’t seen any of them used by people.

      Thanks, Christer-from your mouth to God’s ears as they say!!

      Enjoy your evening!!

  2. Birgit Says:

    The Deck of Horror.
    No, that’s not a comment to your lovely summer deck description or the new egret, but a movies theme suggestion 😉
    One theme for the whole summer?
    Some quick and silly theme ideas:
    Magic Summer Temptations, Music Mania, Deck-A-Dance, 2013 -> un/lucky 13 (Triskaidekaphobia ?!?), Beauty & Beast, Godzilla vs. Jaws, Kat-alysis, Vintage Science, Cape Deck, Cape Crazy, Curse of the Cape, Summer Sins, Travel Bug, Fish & Chips, Crazy Cars, Desert Diaries, Lovely Lullabies, Cozy Catastrophes, Welcome to the Katacomb, Katastrophies, Fasten Your Seat Belt, Monstrous Moments, Absurd Adventures, Vampire Visions, Kat the Bat, Funny Friends, World Wide Wonder, the Monster Edition, 20th Century Kat, Unsilent Nights, Magical Mystery Tour, Saturday Night Fever, dRY AN’ KATisfied.

    • Kat Says:

      Ww have movies on Saturday night so that’s not all that many movies as we have to wait until it’s warm enough to sit outside for the night. We’re talking maybe 7 or 8 at the most.

      I love the Kat choices. Curse of the Cape is a great one. We can start with Jaws!! Katastrophies is another which will have lots of choices. No dance or musical-not my favorites! Monstrous moments and fasten you seat belt are also on my list.

      Thanks for the help!!

  3. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Hey Kat!

    I am glad your Red Sox won their game – – of course I am a Mets fan so I am thrilled when the Yankees lose! 🙂

    Opening Day is the one day of the year that I know I am glued to the set for every pitch. I keep a close eye on the rest of the season but that is a special day for me, almost like being in church. Its so bad the phone is off the hook!

    Wonder if both our teams can go 162-0? Ya think? 🙂

    Waving from Jersey – –


    • Kat Says:

      I am a Mets fan too!

      My friends and I dress in our Red Sox gear, bring out all our Red Sox paraphernalia and cheer every out, against the Yankees of course. It was a great game,a nd I loves watching the Yankee fans leaving early.
      Yea Mets! Yea Red Sox!

      Waving from cold Cape Cod!!


  4. Bill S. Says:

    Red Sox are 1 and 0 so far!!

    Our house in Tafo had no screens, but we had mosquito netting heavy enough to be sheets. We also had those coils, and even today we burn them at the pool in summer.

    Speaking of Mercedes Benz (no, I don’t own one), I took a MB station wagon transport from Ouagadougou to Bolga. There was a large Muslim man in front of me dressed in long robe and hat. On the way, he cleared his throat, and hawked a big one out the window. The window took it and blew it into my window, landing on me. That was one magic luggee! (How do you spell “luggee??)

    Snow is not melting this week, so we have still 2′ in the backyard and along the driveway. We hid Easter eggs in the snow on Sunday–they were easy to find.

    • Kat Says:

      I remember that house had no screens and no water and no inside toilet. Visiting you was a frontier experience!! I remember the huge windows which faced away from the backyard and the outhouses.

      That is so disgusting it doesn’t matter how you spell it!! I’d have been gagging.

      I always took a similar station wagon to Ouga. I used to go into town to the lorry park the day before, find the driver and tell him to pick me up as his last rider. He’d stop at my house. It was great service. The driver would also drop me off at my house on the way home.

      You’re going to have that snow for a while. It’s supposed to be cold every night this week, might even snow in some places.

      That was a great game!! They’re in 1st place!!

  5. Bob Says:

    I am also a Met’s fan since their first season in 1961 when I attended several games including a Memorial Day double header in the old Polo Grounds against the Dodgers. All 55,000 fans booed when the Los Angeles Dodgers took the field. When the Dodgers and the Giants left NY in 1958 for California it marked the end of an era of baseball rivalry that has never been equaled. Dodger fans had been suffering through World Series losses to the Yankees in 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953 and finally wining one in 1955. Unfortunately, the Yankees won in 1956 and the Dodgers left town in 58. The Yankees were and still are the enemy in my mind and I boo them when they play the Rangers.

    Mosquitoes were a terrible problem last summer as the spread the West Nile virus. Last summer it took 28 lives in the Dallas and Ft. Worth area. Hopefully this year with earlier ariel and ground spraying the mosquito population along with the death rate can be greatly reduced.

    • Kat Says:

      I too boo the Yankees. For us they are the Evil Empire. Whenever a Sox player signs with the dreaded Yankees, they get booed. Youkalis is now with New York so we’ll see what happens when he comes to Boston.

      I’ve always liked the Mets.

      I’m surprised that with all the dryness that you had mosquitos. Usually when it is dry, they are scarce here. I hope the spraying helps.

  6. im6 Says:

    Almost forgot to post this video I ran across last night.

    • Kat Says:

      I think my favorite part was the rocket ride!

      Squirrels will do anything for a free meal. That one had a long way and quite a few athletic jumps to make it. I think it is their insistence I dislike the most!

      • Caryn Says:

        A really intelligent squirrel would just have gone right to the pole with the peanuts on it and chewed the damn thing down. 🙂 If they can chew through walls and windows, they can chew through anything.

      • Kat Says:

        This one was more than happy to sue its athletic skill: a nothing can stop me sort of spawn!

  7. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I didn’t watch the ball game. If I watch, they lose. I didn’t watch any last year, though, so that was all their own fault. 🙂
    Our mosquito coils didn’t smell so good. The ones I remember were green and sat on a pin thing. I’m not sure they did much good though my father burned them for every barbecue. I liked punks. We used to burn holes in dead leaves. They made a perfect, round hole. We made lacy leaves. If the punk was waved around fast enough, it left a visual afterimage so you could “write” your name in fire in the air. 🙂
    I put up a suet feeder hoping to get the woodpeckers in the area. I got a mob of male grackles instead. I have another one that I’ll put down back near the black walnut tree. I wonder how long it will take the squirrels to pull them down and open them. the crafty spawns. 🙂
    It’s still windy up here. And chilly.
    Enjoy the day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      So there is no real connection between your watching and their record but baseball is loaded with superstitions.

      I just ordered some punks for the summer. After writing about them, I figured they’d be great on those few nights we have bugs. My deck is usually breezy enough that they leave us along though my friend Clare swears they are always after her.

      I attach the suet feeders with twists and the spawns leave them alone.

      it’s cold today!

  8. Hedley Says:

    For our friend Birgit – Assuming that she is not a fan of FC Schalke 04, I send good wishes for the adventures this evening of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League against Malaga.
    Salutations to Bochum

    • Birgit Says:

      Thanks, Hedley!
      Great game so far, but no goals yet (1st half 0:0). Back to TV and Hövels (Dortmund beer)…

      • Hedley Says:

        Birgit, I am tracking – getting out of there with a tie would be a great result with the second leg being in Germany.

      • Birgit Says:

        Yup, final score 0:0. To be continued next Tuesday in Dortmund.

      • Hedley Says:

        Birgit, Looks very good for your team and they should have won tonight.
        I am not convinced that Hovels is the right choice of beer, but that is another question
        Congratulations and on to London !

      • Birgit Says:

        good luck tomorrow, COYS! I will probably see my first Tottenham game, it’s on our TV. Which beer should I pick for this game?

      • Hedley Says:

        Yes, Tottenham will play Basel tomorrow and perhaps a Fullers Beer would work. I will be listening to the game on Internet radio
        My cousin and her family live in that Swiss city and we shall talk over the weekend about the status of the series.
        I will be in London on the night of the Champions League Final but do not have a ticket to see your side become Champions of Europe.

  9. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    I think I’ll just wave today and hope no one bites me.

  10. Beto Says:

    I contracted West Nile last year. It can be anything from a sore throat to Cerebral Meningitis and that is fatal in 99% of victims, even the young. I developed encephalitis and almost died. The bad part is it hangs on for weeks and flares up for months. I came down with it last April and my last flare up was in January.

    • Kat Says:

      That horrible! I knew the paper always prints if one is found to warn people but short of covering yourself from hear to toe how do you prevent being bitten? I put on spray but even it wears off after a while. I’m glad you were not one of the 99%.

      I hope January spells the end of your flareups.

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