Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Sneaky Flying Snail Head Bug

In keeping with the theme of Italy, I'm posting another blog from my series after a family trip to Tuscany. :-)

Take care,


P.S. Let me know what you think about the flying snail head bug thing... Or creepy bugs in general. You need the killer-diller bug details in Tuscany for your story? Here you go. See the lengths I go to in order to help you out? LOL




(First posted August 1, 2006)

During our first full day at the villa in Tuscany, several members of our party rested in the shade of an umbrella while soaking in the amazing view of the valley and the Chianti vineyards below. We were all in this serene state of mind, sipping iced tea that tasted remarkably like a peach Jolly Rancher, when we spotted what appeared to be a baby hummingbird darting about the flowers. Zip, zip, zip. How cute! A baby hummingbird. I've never seen one before. Have you? It finally flew away to where we all imagined its mother to be, waiting for it to return home. Sigh. Sweet.

A few hours later, another member of our party, who had stayed at the villa the week before we had arrived as well, asked us if we'd seen the flying bug that sports a snail's head.

Waaaait. Whaaaat? Come again? Uh...No, thank God.

I immediately imagined something out of the Jurassic Era, something with a snail's shell attached to the head as it flew around, bombarding unsuspecting viewers of the Chianti vineyards. Gross. I don't WANT to see that. At this point, I was ready to sprint inside and shut the doors and windows, as well as zip up our luggage so the freaky insect couldn't hitch a ride home with us--or worse, lay snail head eggs in my clothing. ::shudder::

A few days later, the baby hummingbird appeared to us again. My husband grabbed his camera and captured an image of it as it hovered near a flower bed. When he looked at the photo on the screen. His eyebrows furrowed and he zoomed in on the image. "What the heck is that?!"

Yep, all of our little fantasies about the baby hummingbird vanished. It was the freaky snail head insect, but fortunately, no snail shell to be found. Later, we were thumbing through a guide book and found a picture of our friend, the Tuscan Hummingbird Moth. If only we had actually looked at the guide books we'd spent a fortune on before our trip. Sheesh.

And if that wasn't enough, just before we turned in for the night, my husband and I discovered a millipede climbing the wall in our room and another one making its WAY to our room. They were huge...At least four inches in length and the width measured a good inch and a quarter, if you included the legs (soooo many legs!). Boy, oh boy, that did cause me to keep our luggage zipped up tight. I even entertained the thought about putting the locks back on...just in case the insects were savvy enough to figure out how to unzip baggage. I didn't want to take any chances.