Monday, May 7, 2012

Mexican Moth Mayhem


The sky made due on the threats of yesterday, as shortly before midnight the light show recommenced , this time with plentiful waterworks.  The fierce storm kept me up much of the night and when I did finally sleep my near coma lasted until eight, much later than the preferred start time.
Barely awake, I stumbled to the john where I opened the door and was nearly knocked over by a swarm of moths seeking shelter within.  They were even inside the toilet paper rolls and the wave of insects emerging would have surely caused me to void my bowels had I not so recently done so. 
As it turns out these were no local insect, but foreign invaders swept up from Mexico inside the massive storm which caused such devastation only a couple weeks ago.  Known as black cutworm moths, they are a potential menace to Nebraska farmers as well as the American insects whose jobs they are taking.  Is our border truly safe if these pests can ignore our walls, guards, and sensors with such brazen impunity?
I arrived back at the trail an hour after leaving Branched Oak and resumed the northward trek along 79.  I was pleased to see Valparaiso, Spanish for vale of paradise, shortly after one.  The first settlers named the town after the fertile soil and ample rains.  Today Val is known for growing pecans or pee cans as we call them in the South.
Paradise for me was the opportunity to exit the busy highway and actually head west for once.  A delicious hamburger at Val's Tavern was a further bonus, especially when comped by Linda, who has a son in the army who has served in Iraq.  She was very excited to hear about the walk and sympathetic to what Ken's family went through when he was hurt.
After lollygagging at Val's and at the library the pack dragged me back into the woods on the Oak Creek Trail, where I completed a couple of more miles before finding a pleasant spot to camp.  Hopefully moth free....

11 miles/1909 total miles

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