It was a helluva long, painful spring and summer here in my Tennessee wilderness mountain abode.
They are technically extremely large and impressive hills, but it sounds much more dramatic and romantically intriguing to call them mountains.
After five years of existing in the midst of Mother Nature's appealing, yet appalling embrace, I've learned to tolerate (endure?) all of the incredibly annoying crap that goes with it.
I've had squirrels in my roof, 'possums under the house, skunks in the garage. I've had a snake in my bedroom and two 'possums inside the house.
Nests of mice have taken up residence in my desk drawers and clothes drawers. I found a live mouse sleeping in the washing machine.
I won't mention the wasps, carpenter bees, hornets, horseflies, gnats, fruit flies, drain flies, and stink bugs that plagued and tortured me mercilessly from April through September.
I was delighted when the annual influx of Asian beetles didn't make their usual appearance in mid-October.
Those are the names by which the little bastards are known. They resemble ladybugs but are more orange-brown than red in color. And they're extremely aggressive.
When November arrived - unusually cold and inclement - I was absolutely positive that the dreaded Lady Asians had cancelled their Tennessee invasion this year.
The Big Kahuna God of Nature must have awakened and noticed my joy.
Yesterday (Wednesday) was fairly mild. A few annoying summer bugs lethargically appeared but I didn't think much of it - - - until I suddenly started finding robust Asian beetles in the house. Lots of them.
It couldn't be, I kept telling myself - not in November!
When I cautiously opened the front door and stepped out on the porch, the plagues of Egypt descended upon me.
Thousands - and I mean thousands - of Asian beetles were swarming everywhere! They covered the porch, the side of the house, the windows - and dense armies of them were zooming through the air.
Like an idiot, I had gone outside in my underwear (hell, no one is around here to see me but Bigfoot).
The beetles immediately descended upon me - hundreds of them - and that's when I discovered they BITE!
I had to flee back into the house. I was covered with beetles and my legs were bitten dozens and dozens of times in mere seconds.
Not knowing what to do, I grabbed a bottle of rubbing alcohol and doused my legs. Then I began combing beetles out of my hair.
To make a long story short (which at this point is a complete impossibility) today (Thursday) is rainy and chilly. A hard frost is expected tonight. The influx of Asian beetles has diminished - although I found several in my bed last night.
Despite the fact that my windows are all tightly shut, the Asian beetles still manage to get in. This was my bedroom window last night.
Of course, Bosco had to get in on the action. I quickly cleaned up the beetles before he could eat any.
Beetles on the window yesterday...
And the front door - -
(this is after I used bug spray)