Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday Vignette: Modern Day Monsters & Alien Bugs

We woke up to fog this morning - not at our house but covering the harbor below like a blanket.  It gave the harbor a surreal aspect.

To my fanciful mind, the tops of the shipping cranes rising above the fog look like modern day sea monsters eyeing the buildings beyond

About half an hour later, as the fog started to recede, the Vincent Thomas Bridge began to emerge and the cranes looked more like cranes


In addition to monsters in the harbor this morning, yesterday I came home to find an alien bug sitting by the front door.  About 3 inches long, even my husband was loathe to get close to it but, after taking a photo, I determined it was dead on the doorstep.

After a cursory search on the internet this morning, I discovered that the dead creature is probably a potato bug or Jerusalem cricket, which is neither a cricket or a potato-eating bug.  You can find a video featuring a live potato bug here.


This post feels more appropriate to Halloween than the lead-up to Christmas, although that holiday is frighteningly close and I'm woefully unprepared so perhaps we can think of this as part of  "The Nightmare Before Christmas."  Visit Anna at Flutter & Hum to find more Wednesday Vignettes.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

28 comments:

  1. Hey, I like your crane monsters, they look like a mechanical Loch Ness monster in the low fog. I used think that the oil rigs on Signal Hill looked like giant grasshoppers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the oil rigs, Jane. They're probably truly frightening in the fog!

      Delete
  2. I had a Jerusalem cricket in my house once in San Diego, Kris. They are a bit disconcerting. But preferable to scorpions, we had one of those but only 1/2" long, it stung my little 2 year old girl on the foot. Ouch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our apprehensions about the cricket/potato bug had mainly to do with not knowing what the heck it was but they're definitely preferable to scorpions!

      Delete
  3. That is an amazing view of the harbour. Quite eerie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The effect is even more eerie when the fog rolls in at night, Jessica. It slowly puts out all the city and harbor lights we normally see and leaves just an amorphous gray void.

      Delete
  4. Love the foggy shots of the harbor. We live on top of a ridge, but with no view. I only get to see the valley below when I drive down the hill into the valley below, and it's often filled with a lake of fog. That is one creepy bug.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our "view" at our old house was similar to the one you describe, Alison. If I walked up the hill a few blocks and peered through the slits between certain houses, I could see a sliver of ocean.

      Delete
  5. When I lived in the Central Coast, we dug up the potato bugs ALL THE TIME. I thought they were completely gross (because of the potential juiciness), but they really are harmless. I've always thought that gantry cranes look like horses. To me, a view of a working harbor is one of the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose if I've found one of those beasties, there are probably more, Emily. With all the digging we've been doing of late, though, you'd think we'd have turned up others by now.

      Delete
  6. I always enjoy your shots of your view, Kris, and this one is eerily spectacular. I wouldn't get anything done if I lived where you do. Instead, I'd rig up a telescope and study the life going on below for hours on end. A fascinating vista!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We usually have a telescope sitting in the window looking out on the harbor (although it's been moved for the time being to make way for the Christmas tree). We used it quite a bit when we first moved in, especially my husband, but its appeal gradually fades.

      Delete
  7. Your view of the harbour is so special whatever the conditions but I do like the idea of sea monsters rearing out of the fog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd actually been waiting some time for the harbor "monsters" to show up so I could take photos, Christina. The effect was fairly common in the first years of our residence here but, as Denise mentions below, fog has become less common, another side-effect of global climate change perhaps.

      Delete
  8. Wow, these are stunning photos, esp. with the fog lifting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's too bad I don't have the camera equipment to capture the nighttime fog effects, Gerhard - it's really eerie.

      Delete
  9. We walked out of a restaurant last night into fog. As you probably know, fog used to be a regular occurrence along the beach cities but just hasn't been occurring lately. It was so exciting! I could hear a lot of murmurs from other passersby, "The fog!" I'll take fog over that dry, itchy winter air any time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a welcome change after the Santa Ana winds last weekend, isn't it? Fingers are crossed we get some rain in the next few days too!

      Delete
  10. Definitely some beautifully surreal effects, and I love the two tiers on the second one! Glad to know that's a harmless bug; I wouldn't have assumed that from its looks... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The potato bug is native to the western US and Mexico so you may have some too and not know it, Amy. At least now you're forearmed to deal with it if you come across one!

      Delete
  11. Love, love the fog. That bug, not much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the fog too - as long as I don't have to drive through it.

      Delete
  12. What fun monsters you have in your city! Love the foggy shots and the bug is interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Interesting" is one word for that bug. If you looked at the video, it's so ugly it's almost (almost!) cute.

      Delete
  13. Ooh, I love fog! It definitely helps fuel the imagination with those Loch Ness crane monsters. Cool bug! I would have walked right up to investigate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found it funny that the bug even creeped out my husband - he's not usually squeamish.

      Delete
  14. Amazing photos! I love the foggy monster images. The alien bug, well. I looked at it closely, and I wonder if some sort of parasite is growing in its head. This came to my mind because when I was recently researching the strange fungi in my garden, I came across a fungi that plants its spores in insect brains, then directs the zombie insects to where it wants them to go, then the fungi bursts through the brains to release its spores in the new location. Just thought I would tell you that since you mentioned the nightmare before Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My first thought when I saw that bug was that it had some kind of brain inflammation like encephalitis but, if you looked at the video of the live potato bug, its head was also weird. In any case, it was creepy!

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions. However, with apologies to bona-fide commentators, due to a significant increase in spam, I've eliminated the option to post comments anonymously.