From the David Grann website.
Bugs are always important, and we’re always talking about
them, if it’s listserv chatter about whether or not Japanese beetles are
rampant or waning this summer, or if it’s scary warnings about ash borers, tent
caterpillars, Asian long-horned beetles, and gypsy moths. Sometimes destructive
bugs are grave long-term threats, sometimes they’re just temporarily worrying. Sometimes we talk about insects we love.
Bugs were put into perspective for me last week when I
listened to The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly
Obsession in the Amazon (David Grann’s book on Amazonian exploration) on the
way to the beach. My god! Chiggers
that eat human tissue, millipedes that squirt cyanide, gnats that fly into your
pupils, maggots that set up shop in your knees, ants that can eat all your
equipment in a night, and “kissing” bugs that might cause a fatal heart attack
years later. On these expeditions, it was simply assumed that ticks and mosquitos would feed off you every second of every day and night.
Can’t get too excited about some nibbles on a rose leaf
after that. It’s a great listen (and I am sure great read), by the way.
Posted by Elizabeth Licata on July 21, 2009 at 10:00 am, in the category Unusually Clever People.