28 June 2012

Poolside tragedy

and yes... we laughed and laughed and laughed.

Last weekend, we were hanging out on the pool on Saturday afternoon, enjoying our last times with my niece Leandra and her daddy, my brother-in-law Steve. The kids were in the pool. Mary Michelle has just started swimming (she does some sort of funny combo of floating on her back and treading, but can hang out in deep water almost as long as her bigger siblings), and although it feels sort of empty and lonely with everyone who has left in recent weeks, it is still one of our favorite places to be.

The rains also appear to have started - truly one of the earliest starts to rainy season that we've ever experienced while living in this country (It is kinda crazy to think I've lived about 1/4th of my life here in Niger... Brendan has lived about 3/4ths of his... but I'm getting sidetracked.) One of life's little joys, as far as my tribe is concerned, that comes along with regular rains are termite hatches. Just ask Leandra about playing Rambo at the pool and gunning down termites in midflight.

This afternoon, we were at the pool shortly after one of their hatches and the kids were chasing them around, rescuing ones that landed in the water, watching to see who would escape the dragonflies feasting and otherwise studying termite behavior, particularly termite dating behavior.

You see, they find it fascinating that the female will land and start this funny little dance to try and snag a guy's attention. If she is successful, a male will land and they'll dance around each other for a bit until she decides if he's worth the bother or not. If she likes him, she drops her wings... he drops his... and they make a dance line of two. Our littlest ones say they are playing "train." Our kids have been known to play matchmaker - placing two insects in close vicinity, hoping to spark a bit of romance, and in general, they have a great time entertaining themselves with this little piece of God's creation.


So, that poolside afternoon, two termites hooked up right at Tim's feet. She danced, he watched, she was impressed, wings dropped and the two trained off towards the garden and soil where they could bury their eggs and begin a life together as king and queen of a new termite colony.

But then they met this guy ~

~ and they never had a chance.

In an instant, their birthing romance was tragically, abruptly and prematurely aborted... in the mouth of the dragon.

Tim couldn't wait to share the drama he'd witnessed with our gang. We all had a good laugh (So what exactly does that say about us?) 

...He's still chuckling if we remind him.

Who knows... maybe I've got several budding entomologists

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