Mosquitoes, melissa and limits to vegetarianism.
I've always told anybody who will listen that I'm a vegetarian, but if it ever came to a fight and the choice was death for me or death for the animal, well, I'd prefer it if the animal died.
And I have doubts that the few neurons a mosquito has can have conciousness, so when I found one sucking my blood this morning – SLAP! And for once, I got it, and even better it was not too badly damaged. "Out with the microscope!" was my immediate thought, and here is the little sod:
You can see the blood sucking instrument between the two antennas, one antenna broken presumably by my slap. Can you see those white things between the antenne? They are the palps, the mosquito's nose(s). You can see them better below. So that is what she used to find my sweaty body.
My friend Klaus gave me a Melissa plant (Lemon Balm or Mint Balm in English). The smell is incredible, and makes me smile without even realising it. Must go straight to the pleasure centers of the brain. Anyway, I noticed a caterpiller on it, and brought in the pot to where the computer, USB microscope and dead mosquito was. The amazing thing about the Veho 200X device is that it is very light and you can remove it from its stand, which I did to take this photo of the little furry fella:
You have to have a steady hand, and this is the best of about five photos I took. I think it must be making a cocoon, because there is a ton of whispy stuff in the same places as the caterpiller.
"Only connect!" said E M Forster. Apparently melissa is a good way of keeping mosquitoes away from skin. Maybe next year, when I have more, I'll rub one leg with melissa and the other with a normal repellant. We'll see.
(I can't stand E. M. Forster, we had to read his novels at school. I object to his story "The Machine Stops", presumably he wanted all machines to stop. Well, he had a large private income, servants and presumably never had to wash a pair of underpants in his life. I like machines.)