The Honesty of Insects

img_7042wheelbug800They are never duplicitous or deceitful. They are not envious of more powerful or attractive members of their group nor do they seek more creature comforts than is their hardwired destiny.

They may stink or sting, buzz and bump their wee-brained heads against the ceiling or windowpane and die to leave their moldy carcasses in the dark corners of our lives.

But they never run for office.

This particular specimen offered itself for portraiture at the edge of a Floyd Country Store window this week. It is commonly called a “wheel bug”–a true bug of the order Hemiptera. Yes, a cousin of our favorite stink bugs in Floyd County.

Look but don’t touch. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts and can inflict a painful bite. But they are WYSIWYG. And that is more than you can say about other creatures in the news.

About

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

1 Comment on “The Honesty of Insects

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.