Spirit Creek Farm: Living With Wasps
I love this post on my friend Jackie's blog. Her intention to live in peace with her garden companions accords with my own. My mother, too, was unafraid of wasps, spiders and other insect-type creatures. She could pick up bees and cradle them in the palm of her hand, and was never stung. She rescued spiders inside the house, and carried them outside with her bare hands. On the other hand, she was terrified of snakes, to the point that she wouldn't allow any of us kids to own even a white rat, because the tail reminded her of a snake. She later relented and allowed my brother to keep a white rat in a cage OUTSIDE the house, in the side yard where she didn't often go.
Perhaps in an unconsciously contrary reaction to my mother's behavior, I was terrified of all insects, particularly spiders. When I started gardening on my own, I began with the intention to garden organically. This meant I had to decide how to act and think about 'bugs' in a different, more tolerant way. Spiders were clearly among the good guys, and I gradually changed my attitude and behavior towards them.
I suspect if I lived in a place where, say, tarantulas were roaming around loose in the neighborhood, I would not have mellowed as I have in the intervening years. I'm sorry, but that's too damned big for anything with that many legs. Apparently my positive attitude of acceptance and peaceful co-existence has a size limit when it comes to spiders. Other than that, I'm pretty ok with most other bugs, though I have at best only an uneasy truce with ants.
And here in the dry high desert, we don't really have many bothersome or dangerous insects, either in the garden or in the outdoor world in general. That being said, I will confess that I've been out at night several times in the past week, trying to figure out who is gnawing my newly-sprouted beans down to pitiful little nubbins. Hmmmmmm. Apparently my positive attitude of acceptance and peaceful co-existence also has a requirement for non-competition for food crops of a favorite beanal kind.