I love bugs!

I love—er, tolerate—er, appreciate—yes, appreciate bugs, insects, and all manner of creepy crawlies.

When I was a little kid, I used to kick over those little ant mounds that appear on the

‘All things bright and beautiful’

cracks in the sidewalk, when one day it hit me: those little, tiny ants worked really long and hard to build that mound! I tried to convince my brother and sister to leave the ants alone after that. I think it was the beginning of my affinity for “all creatures great and small.”

As owner of a parcel of land, I am happy to be able to exercise a bit of influence over what goes on here with the flora and fauna.

When a wasp nest appears, we don’t remove it “just because it’s there.” If it’s low over a doorway, that’s one thing, but a wasp nest high up in the peak of a roof or along the middle of a long building far from human traffic, is safe. Those wasps serve a good purpose in God’s creation, and if they were all to disappear, we’d be worse off for it.

The big red wasps feed on the bagworms that make our pecan trees so unsightly.

Dirt daubers (the black ones) are very docile, and feed on every class of small spider.

Fire ants feed on scorpions.

Armadillos aerate the soil.

Skunks eat those black crickets and lots of other bugs.

Bats eat loads of moths and other flying night insects.

Many years ago, when Brenda “Beaner” Reed was program director, there was a sizable rat snake that lived in the area of the office. Beaner was so easy-going about almost everything, but NOT about snakes. This long, skinny guy haunted her dreams. So we relocated him with the help of a guy who raised snakes for zoos and such.

Let me assure you that within five years, we had the worst problem with mice and rats that I had ever seen on this camp or anywhere else. I don’t believe in letting my campers be terrorized by critters, but getting rid of “Skinny” was a bad move!

So let’s live and let live… hasta la vista!

About the Author

Jane Ragsdale

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Jane Ragsdale (Mrs. Dick Howell) is the director of Heart O’ the Hills. She was a Heart camper and counselor, and served as program director from 1978-87. She has been one of the owners since 1976, and director since 1988.

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