[Wo]Man Vs. Wild — Kansas
November 5, 2007
The new season of Man vs. Wild has started, and as I’ve watched the commercials showing where Bear Grylls will go next, I must say I’m very disappointed to see that he’s not chosen to try to survive here in eastern Kansas.
Really. For this suburbanite, Kansas is not the safe urban environment I’d expected.
Where do I begin?
First of all, there are bugs here. No kidding. Lots of bugs. This was a shock to me as I had not realized how much Chicago had mastered the art of destroying bugs. (Except for those 17-year cicadas this past summer.) Yes, Chicago has ants and some bees and wasps. But seriously, the city and suburbs are bug free compared to here.
Here two massive spiderwebs appeared overnight outside our front door and our garage door. Massively massive spider webs. Complete with thumbnail-size spider keeping watch from the web’s center. Sheesh, it looked like we were decorating from Halloween.
And then of course, there’s the issue of going out in the evening and leaving your porch light on. Which is worse? Fumbling for the right key in the dark or letting the hordes of bugs drawn to your light enter the house with you? We quickly decided to fumble in the dark.
There are even bugs in busy areas, right outside shopping malls where cars and people are coming and going constantly. I’ve almost stepped on a praying mantis, a moth the size of my palm, a numer of grasshoppers and crickets (too many to count), and even a walking stick. I tell you, this place is a bug collector’s paradise.
And then there are the snakes.
You heard me. On my first day in my back yard, I walked out the door, looked down at my feet, and saw that I’d almost stepped on a snake.
So what if it was a garter snake? I’d never even seen one before. Man, am I sorry to have that thirty-some year streak ruined. I tried to act calm (my daughter was right next to me). And before long the thing flew through the grass and left. But frankly its speed freaked me out too.
Lest you find yourself laughing at me, let me really scare you. There are copperheads in them thar woods.
There’s a couple in our church who have some land and live off a gravel road. Evidently copperheads like rocks. They’ve seen copperheads on that road and have run them over and killed them. (Our friend says you drive back and forth over them until you’re sure they’re dead. Just so you know.)
Another man in our church was visiting this family. He was driving down their road on his motorcycle and saw a copperhead up ahead in the road. So he decided to peal out on the bike and kill it. (Again, should you ever find yourself on a bike with a copperhead in front of you, you HAVE to peal out on the snake to kill it. File that one away, okay?)
But sadly, after he pealed out on the bike, he looked behind himself and didn’t see the snake lying dead in the road.
Or slithering off to the side.
He jumped off the bike to see if it had gotten somehow wrapped up in the bike and was about to bite him. Thankfully, it hadn’t
But it gets better. There are rattlesnakes here, too.
Another family in church was cleaning out their window wells a few years ago. Their son, not realizing what it was, picked up a baby rattler by the tale. He found it all cozy in their window well. Thank goodness we don’t have window wells. They’d never get cleaned.
Lastly, there’s the sky. I’ve never given all the ozone theories a thought, but here there are little holes all over the sky. You can see them best at night. Little white dots all over. Kinda pretty, if it weren’t so scary.
I tell ya, Bear Grylls has nothing on me.