Monday, May 21, 2012

Wallking Dead (almost) in New Mexico

I didn't mean to pull his leg off. I just didn't want him to crawl up my pants.

I blame the city of Las Cruces.

It all started because we were looking for a roadrunner made out of trash. We had passed it many times on I-10, just before Las Cruces. Usually, we wouldn't remember it until we had passed the rest area exit and saw it standing in the orange dirt, too late to go back.

This time we remembered it and pulled into the rest area in time, parked and went in search of the roadrunner. We thought it was strange that there were no signs for it or pathways marked out. Just a bunch of hilly, hot desert.

We set off for the direction we thought it might be in, walking up hill and valley in the blazing sun.

The area was pretty, and the desert has so many interesting plants and animals, but why, in the name of pasty skin, does it have to be so hot?

We never found the trashy roadrunner. Maybe it had all been some sort of desert hallucination.

This is the view from the
supposed home
of the elusive trashy roadrunner.

After walking for minutes hours and not finding it, we got back in the truck and continued east. I got on the computer to find out where we went wrong when I felt something crawling on my arm.

It was a lime green Walking Stick, about 2 inches long. They are so weird/cool looking and he was moving pretty fast. I put him on my finger and let him walk around, trying to take pictures at the same time. It was awkward, so I put him back on the computer and let him walk around the keyboard, but it was too sunny in the front of the truck so I moved to the back.

He was a very good natured Walking Stick, if a little hyper. He perched himself up on the USB magic internet stick and kind of swayed around on his six feet. Later, I read that that was a defensive mechanism, he was trying to mimic a twig swaying in the breeze.

I could almost hear him whistling and saying, "nothing to see here folks, I'm just a computer twig, swaying in the breeze of the a/c. Move along."

I picked him up again to play with him some more to get some better pictures and that's when he fell on my foot and then crawled up my pant leg.

And that's when I freaked out and tore his leg off by accident, because it's one thing to be playing with a Walking Stick out in the open, but it's a whole other ball of worms to have one crawling up your leg when you can't see it.

Because when a harmless Walking Stick that you have been playing with for 15 minutes goes missing in your pants, it immediately turns into a venomous bitey Chupacabra. As everyone knows.

I drew in a fake leg for him.
He wasn't impressed.

I felt really bad about it so I took some more pictures before we stopped. Then I put him on some kind of desert bush next to a truck stop to live out the rest of his life with only 5 legs.

And that's how the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico ruined my day.

And it was no picnic for the Walking Stick either, I'm sure.

Now that I think about it, the bush looked like an oleander, which are highly poionous to humans. Hopefully, not to Walking Sticks.

Weird Walking Stick Fact:

When mating, Walking Sticks generally remain coupled from 3-36 hours, after...uh...completion, and in extreme cases may remained coupled for 3 weeks. Who do they think they are, Sting?


  1. Walking sticks are one of the neatest bugs. I've seen the odd one around here, but they are brown.

    I envy some of your travels but not the desert ones. I hate heat and I'm not particularly fond of grit either.

    1. Those brown ones really do look stick-and-twig-y. I think the one that got in here was kind of a wuss.

      Yeah, heat and grit are not as fun as they sound.

  2. Ok, I thought walking sticks, although basically harmless, could still chomp down on your tender skin fairly painfully. But maybe I'm confusing with something else. Anyway, as long as the missing leg doesn't get in the way of his elongated coupling process I'm sure he'll be fine ;-)

    1. Now I'm gonna feel really bad if I messed up his sex life!

      I looked at him under a jewlers loupe and didn't even see a mouth, he was so small, but I don't think they bite. He did flick his tail up like a scorpion, but I think that was just posturing too. All I felt were his grppy little feet, minus one.

  3. Once again, you've proven yourself a better person than myself. Because I don't consider it a whole other ball game when a bug's up my pant leg; it's the same exact game as when it's on my arm, or my computer, or on the wall across the room. For someone who isn't very girly, I do squeal quite a bit around bugs. I'm not proud of it. And I don't find them a new home OR draw them new body parts. But you have given me new respect for them in light of their commitment to enjoying the afterglow, so maybe there's hope for me.

    1. Yeah, you really have to give them credit for the snuggle time, instead of just wha-bam-thank-you-ma'am, although reallya few minutes would do. At some point you're going to want a sandwich.

      I have also found that if you want to make someone who is blathering on and on at you and you don't want to listen anymore, that it is very helpful to pick up a bug and start playing with it.

  4. As a child I had a pet walking stick in an aquarium that I would play with all the time. Unfortunately after a couple years we realized he was actually just a stick. But that didn't stop me from loving Steve any less.

    1. *snort* There's nothing like the love of a boy and his stick.


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