I heard this tale last night as I had the pleasure of meeting author Amy Stewart and hearing her talk about her new book "Wicked Bugs."
She had come to a Pasadena, CA, bookstore and was only a 15 minute walk from my work, so I had to go. Actually, there was no need to twist my arm, since I had enjoyed her previous book "Wicked Plants" quit a lot.
Of these wicked living things, plants and bugs, Ms. Stewart has concluded that we are not afraid enough of plants, and we are overly afraid of bugs.
Regarding plant materials, she says many people will eat anything if told it’s “all natural” -but hey, cyanide is all natural, strychnine is all natural, and they are poisonous.
She was kind enough to hand out bugs encased in acrylic so we could all get a close look. The bugs were obtained through The God of Insects. Yes, that is actually what he is called.
Hairy legs like this do give me the creeps:
It was interesting to see how big a bed bug is (its that speck to the left of the cockroach. So they are visible to the naked eye).
Amy spoke for about 75 minutes, telling stories of the bugs she had passed around. Stories about the only Med Fly ever found in Miami. There was a bit of a panic and it was specially flown to Washington to be investigated to see if it was pregnant. (It wasn't). And about the chigoe flea that burrow into people's toenails and lay eggs. Some men have actually cut their toes off because of the chigoe flea.
She told us about the Puss Caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis), describing it as "like a little persian cat". I guess it does resemble one, a little. Very furry. But it stiiiings like a you-know-what.
|Puss caterpillar. (Weird, ain't it?)|
Later, Amy Stewart signed the books we bought.
These are all her other books
Now I have a secret to tell you. I must whisper it, so come close. Ok, ready?
Pssst! Look for information on a wicked book giveaway, coming soon to a blog near you!