The sound of crickets

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On Wednesday a package came I had been expecting. I first got a call from our Fed Ex driver saying that she had a box of crickets for me and would be leaving them on the truck. I just love her, she always calls to tell me when she's dropping off a package. There's is a reason she does too. When I ordered my first ipod a signature was required to get the package. I wasn't home and she came to the door. My large white lab Titus has a touch of fear aggression and is alway kept in the house or on a leash during delivery hours, he happened to be sleeping in the kitchen near the door when she came. The door has a huge glass window with no curtain so you can see in from the porch and Titus can see out if he stands on his rear legs.

I'm not really sure what order deliveries came that day but oddly there was a package from UPS on the front mat, a USPS box looked rather thrown near the door and the slip left to sign so Fed Ex could leave the package on the porch was laying somewhere taped to the door. After that day only UPS dare leave a package on the porch. The UPS guy is damn sneaky and can come and go undetected if the package is light enough. I always feel slightly violated when I see a package up against the front door that I didn't hear dropped off. Anyway, the next time USPS had a package for us the post woman sat in the driveway and layed on the horn until I came running. She told me that she thought my dog was going to come through the window and get her so she would need to find another place to leave packages. We worked it out. The Fed Ex woman now calls every time too. When I came home the dogs, all three of them had tore the kitchen up pretty bad. I understood that they had a hard day with three different people come while they were on guard.

Anyway the call came and I rushed out to meet her for my box which wasn't marked in anyway and sounded silent to me. I needed Doug to pick up new cricket keepers before I could open them so they just sat here waiting. I didn't tell the kids what had come, I wanted to see the surprise unfold for them.

When the time came, we started with the small crickets for the mourning gecko. I ordered 1000 1wk olds. They are tiny, tiny little things but boy they were hard to contain. After opening the box they just kept jumping everywhere. This things are too small to pick up though so you had to just let it go. I'm sure they won't all reach adulthood in here, then again maybe they can live on crumbs. Next came the big ones, 1000 4wk crickets. The size difference is astounding. These suckers are huge. There was no good way to get them all into the cricket keeper with out putting them in to another container first. We used a large rubbermaid tub and dumped the box then Doug was the lucky one to dump them in while I had to guid the stream or falling bugs into the 3x4 lid of the box. Involuntarily I was screaming and couldn't stop!! It was so gross. I touched 1000 crickets on there way into the box and many, MANY didn't make it in and fell into my lap, all I could do was laugh and scream. It was horrifying, like something from Fear Factor. I was totally fine and not scared a big just really grossed out. Poor Dallas started bawling because I screamed and Robin thought it was funny but was worried they bite me. Catching the crickets after the dumping was fun and everyone stopped crying for that. You can never really catch them all. There really are crickets everywhere. I was going up to be last night and while walking up the stairs one jumped onto my foot. Oh it freaked me out, I didn't know what it was at first and I almost fell. Seems crickets can be a safely hazard too. These things have got to be the hardest to feed too, if you don't feed them enough they start eating each other alive. I keep stuffing salad greens in and they eat them lightning fast. I guess I need to buy commercial feed after all.

When we bought crickets before we had more animals eating them and bought larger quantites and kept them in a 20 long tank. There are in a much smaller plastic box, but we need to be able to keep them up away from the kids now. Dragon is very happy to have so many crickets to eat, Strawberry the garter snake seems to think they are ok too. The mourning gecko also appreciates her snacks, ever if she doesn't show it.

I did miss the sound of crickets though. It's nice to have them again. In the middle of the night like this, they do make it harder to stay awake in silence though.

More on the bug front, the ants for the ant farm arrived in the mail yesterday. The tube said it had 30 but half came dead. They still have not started to tunnel. I wonder if I have defective ants here. Doug found an ant hill I can get replacements if I need to and the kids think they are great so I'm sure it's all good. Besides, if I have to replace the ants at least all ants kind look alike. Now that betta that just went belly up on me, that's a little different.