A Different Kind of Stick Walking


During the summer of 1999 Barb and I lived lightly on Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Except for coyotes, vultures, gnats, cactus wrens, rattle snakes, and wild burros we were apparently alone. Our neighbors, desert dwellers like ourselves, Cajun and Hazel, were always tinkering with free ways to beat the heat. One of Cajun’s projects was a device that misted a fine spray of water. While it offered a cooling effect, it fogged my glasses. I could do nothing but sit.

A world of insects I had failed to notice also congregated near his contraption, partly, I suppose, because they didn’t read and had no need for glasses.

After dark was when the insects truly came out in force, bugs I didn’t know existed anywhere until that first evening. The one that fascinated me most was the Walking-Stick, or Phasmatodea, according to my research.

The first one I was nearly six inches in length and the size of a yellow pencil. Apparently, they are harmless, but I’ll take the researcher’s word on that.