Saturday, March 24, 2012

Boondocking in California with the Africanized bees

We saw our first not-really-a-scorpion!  He was under a rock, looking like the tiniest lobster never seen, and we saw him.  Can't wait to see my first hardly-a-rattler.

Really a lizard.  Photos courtesy of Annie.
 Desert iguana.

"I am big.  It's the pictures that got small."

 ... and then I thought lentils, but lentils take too long to cook so then I said "Marge, I'll just make a nice vegetable soup," and she says to me, "Hildy, Arlene is already making a vegetable soup;  can you make that artichoke casserole..." Eldridge, it's like you're not even walking with me!  ... so I said, "Sure, but I like to get the artichokes that are soaked in brine without the citric acid, which they have at Kroger..." Eldridge, okay, that's not funny - where did you go?

Oh good, they're expecting us.


Modern ruins.

So glad to get this out of my shoe.

This has the texture and heft of Fimo.  What are they?  Probably not rocks.

Definitely rocks.

Without me there wouldn't be any Paramount Studios.
We're close enough to a railroad track to hear faint "whoos" every now and then.  Pleasant.  If you look at this area on Google Maps, you can see the blue tint in the ground, and we can see it up close.  Lots of pale blue rocks here, and few vivid blue-green chunks I'm holding above.

They're definitely bees.  Goldmine bees, which are meaner than junkyard dogs.  You can't see them in this picture.  Excuse me for not getting a close-up, Norma Desmond.  Annie says "Africanized bees" to keep me out of trouble.  Candy aisle?  Africanized bees!  The deep end of the pool has Africanized bees.  Don't touch that knife! - Africanized bees.

Here are some tips about killer bees from the USDA:
  • RUN away quickly. Do not stop to help others.
  • Continue to RUN.
  • Bees are attracted to movement.
  • Do not jump into water!
  • Do not flail your arms.
  • Drop your baklava.  
  • Keep RUNNING.
  • Never stop running.
  • While running and being stung, attempt to bargain with the bees, promising never to eat honey or "royal jelly," whatever that is.
  • Do not mention John Belushi.

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TexCyn said...

Oh I want some of those rocks!! But keep the bees please, they'd probably kill me. And you can keep the scorpions too. I remember how they used to get in the toilets when I used to live in San Antonio ;-)

Brenda A. said...

Found a drowned scorpion in the swimming pool. That's the extent of my scorpion sightings. But oh how I do love the lizards!!! They make me giggle. :)

Spotted Dog Ranch: said...

Turquoise!! Lucky duck!!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Is that really turquoise? Coolio!

Brenda, I think you won that encounter. So, you've never yet seen a live one? Yeah, lizards are funny. We laughed behind our hands so as not to seem rude.

Scorpions in the toilets??? No, please go back and correct that typo.

I read that killer bees don't randomly attack people, they just protect their hives fiercely and swarm more frequently. Good enough for me!

Anonymous said...

Nice Lizard , we only saw the little wee ones when we were down, had to rescue a few from the clutches of our feline ;-) Derek ( alifemadesimple) the other half.

Anonymous said...

i did come across a swarm in Gila Bend when I was walking our husky Roofous, but I just got down low on my honchos and they flew right over my head... whew deep breathe.. survived the Afrikaner swarming experience ;-) Derek

Gaelyn said...

Love the lizards. Squash the scorpions. They are actually hard to catch. So glad I'm on higher ground before they come out. Well usually.

Nice turquoise. Just don't get caught by the mine claim owner. They might shoot first.

Head further south?

The Odd Essay said...

What is it about signs that makes people want to shoot them full of holes? It's not like they're a moving target where marksmanship is a skill.... Come to think of it, maybe shooting the signs is better than shooting something that's moving....

Karen Snyder said...

So.... absolutely HAD to stop, open Google Earth (a favorite place to visit from my desktop any time) and skim overhead to see all the blue-green coloration. Wow!

Studying the photos, I saw a rabbit hole (or maybe deep into the eye of an elephant?)... petrified bubble gum, left behind by some troglodyte (akin to those who leave great masses of the pink stuff on hot asphalt parking lots these days), and wonderful, glorious, turquoise to be left au naturel or polished to a brilliant shine. I would love to be taking my chances with the critters in order to be finding such treaures!

Levonne said...

Reminds me of a bee sting story from my past. The watercolor painting instructor said "Don't run" when the bees swarmed near. As several of us yelped "Ouch," he yelled "Now Run!" It was hilarious even though it hurt. As I ran my clothes were dropped on the ground piece by piece!

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

I always thought that bees and ducks got along.

Contessa said...

We have 2 resident iguanas here in our RV Park, one must have met with up with a dragon cuz now he only has a stump instead of a tail. We call him Stumpy and he has been around for at least 5 years that we know of. I know it's a he cuz I caught him making out with his girl:)

The Good Luck Duck said...

Derek, good to see you here! Love your blog. That swarm encounter would have scared the bee right out of me. I have seen cats reduce little Florida anoles to tails and gall bladders, so I believe it.

Gaelyn, does that mean they aren't aggressive? The scorpions, I mean, not the claim owner. I hadn't thought about that spot being someone's claim - it was such a mess of household rubble - but that's a very good point.

Karen, it's good to have you comment here! Is the login being accommodating? You have a very good eye to have noticed all that truth inside the big hole in the ground. All I saw was Eldridge.

Levonne, I literally laughed so hard I spilled coffee on myself. Not at your expense! At my own, actually, because that was really hot. As for the clothes, I have done the very same thing; I think it is highly-appropriate behavior in such cases.

Paul and Marti, there has been a blood feud between us ever since great=great-great-great Uncle Eider developed a taste for feral honey. We warned him that no good could come of this, and besides, he'd promote bill decay, but nothing would do except that he get that hive.

Contessa, I'm glad to hear that the Tail Incident didn't diminish his prowess with the ladies. So, iguanas don't grow a tail back like some small lizards do? Very interesting!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Sharon, you're right. Use up the ammunition on the signs. Leave claim-jumpers alone.

Rubye Jack said...

At first I thought that pseudo scorpion on a fly (in the wiki photo) was a flying pseudo scorpion and was ready to start freaking out. However, it was the fly that flies and not the wannabe scorpion. Ick! All we need is flying scorpions.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Oh man. I can't even think about that.

I did feel a little bad for the pseudo-scorpion, not even having its own real-me name, just a not-you name.

Sherry said...

Ok I'm lost. Can somebody explain it to me? A pseudo lizzard goes down in a hole and then Rox does and comes out with something in her shoe and some beautiful rocks but then the bees want it all? Huh???

The Good Luck Duck said...


Andra Watkins said...

I really wish I had read this on my birthday. I am still laughing. I got this out of my shoe..........hahahahahaha.

Gaelyn said...

Stay Away from the scorpions!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Haha! Thanks, Andra; I'm glad.

Gaelyn, you don't have to tell ME once! I'm pre-scared.

swankiewheels said...

I can't read all the above so if someone already said this, sorry. The rocks are not turquoise but crystacolla... a copper mineral. Found where copper has been mined. Roxi, they are the same as the earings I made you. BTW, could you take a photo of them and send it to me. I forgot to do it.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Swankie, that makes sense. And, that's a good idea - I've been meaning to do that myself. I'll take pics and send them along.