Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oh, Phillip!

The minute we arrived in Grover, Rachel started worshiping Phillip. She walked right up to him and demanded to be picked up. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

It was great for us! Rachel would follow him around. He'd carry her around, sing songs to her, twirl her around on the rocking chairs. He was the best entertainment she'd seen in weeks, I'm sure!

I think Phillip had a good time, too, because when Matthew showed up, Phillip had to be reminded several times that he needed to spend time with Matthew, too. When we got in the cars to drive to Fremont Falls, Phillip got in the backseat with Rachel. He had to switch to sit with Matthew because Matthew was bummed. I just thought it was funny that Phillip was choosing the company of a 1 year old baby to that of his 11 year old best bud.

On Thursday night (last week, in Grover) we had a marshmallow roast. We hadn't been planning on making a fire so we didn't bring any good roasting sticks and were forced to scavenge the barren wasteland they call Southern Utah. Nothing grows there. We did manage to find a few good sticks, though. I use the word "we" quite liberally, since I didn't really help.

It got nice and dark very fast, with no streetlights around to brighten things up. The stars were beautiful and the moon was full, so we had enough light to see the occasional bat fly by. And of course there were bugs, but surprisingly few. I only got one mosquito bite the whole time we were there. Rachel didn't get bitten once. Andrew, well, he got bitten a few times, but not nearly as much as we were expecting.

"Something just flew into my head!" shrieked Sarah D.

"It was just a bug," someone said.

"It was huge!" she insisted.

"Maybe it was a bat," someone joked.

We all went on trying to enjoy our evening while keeping a lookout for whatever had his Sarah in the head.

We were just discovering the joys of roasted Starbursts (seriously, you roast them on a stick, in a fire, without the wrapper and the outside gets all crunchy while the inside gets all gooey--so good!) when Phillip started screaming and pointing at his leg.

"Ahh! Ahh! Ahh! Ahh! Ahh! Ahh! Ahh!" he screamed, still as a statue.

Geniuses that we are, no one had remembered to bring a flashlight, so we couldn't see what was on Phillip's leg. Someone managed to knock it off and Phillip streaked off to the cabin, crying.

We wanted to know what had been on his leg, so I brought out the camera and started using the "aim" light to comb the ground. (I don't really know what the light is's the red light before the flash). Suddenly I spotted something twitching.

There on the ground was the biggest, ugliest bug ever.

To give you an idea of it's size, it was at least as long as Andrew's index finger, up to the second knuckle (techincally his minor knuckle, I guess). That's about two inches long! And then this little guy's antena are two or three times the size of his body! Crazy!

After we got a good look at it, Suzy went inside to Phillip and cuddled with him on the couch until he was calmed down. She's such a good sister!

I still haven't figured out what it is. It's definitely a Cerambycidae, but I can't find the actual name for the bug. It looks kind of like a Banded Alder Borer but it's spotted and not striped.

At least we found out what hit Sarah in the head. And Phillip ended up sleeping in the cabin with us instead of out under the stars--not that I blame him. I wouldn't have wanted to be hit with a bug that big, either. We were all a little jumpy that night, though I think it was more Phillip's screaming that shook us up, not the bug.


  1. Hey check this out scroll down and you'll see a picture of what looks like the little culprit: longhorn beetle. You know, I was terrified when I saw a tarantula wasp for the first time in New Mexico (down in Daniel's hometown)!!! Creepiest thing ever!

  2. Right, that's as far as I got, too. But that's just the family...