This day, like this blog post, started off innocently enough.

Well, sort of.

We drove to the WV place last night after a hectic day of work. I did some more work when we arrived, so it was after midnight when I went to bed. We haven’t been here for a couple of weeks so the girls were extra-excited. They forced me out of bed at 5:45 AM.

It was still dark.

I started the coffee brewing and got to work.

Did I mention that today was supposed to be my day off?

Around 6:30, I decided to take the girls for their walk down the hill. Temps were in the 50s. I was wearing my flannel house pants. You could see the steam rising from my coffee.

It was a bit “froggy” as my Dad would say, but quite serene. And cool! Yes, cool. Hubby actually described it as “almost cold.” (He and I have completely different body thermometers.)

A foggy morning at the WV place.

Hot coffee tastes SOOO good when strolling outdoors on a cool, almost-Fall morning.

Notice all the weeds along the driveway? The place is starting to look overgrown and abandoned.

Until you look closer. You know, stop and look at the flowers.

I wasn't the only worker bee awake.

I could not resist this early morning shot of a bumble bee and some soldier beetles. I have no idea what this yellow plant is called, but we’ve got LOTS of it. And it’s quite popular with the critters.

Plant with a cold?

This plant wasn’t looking very healthy. I don’t know what that snot-like substance is, but I’ve seen it hanging off of other plants before and even some trees.

Some of these bad boys are about eight feet tall (~2.66 meters).

I was just thinking about getting the weed whacker out and knocking back some of this overly abundant vegetation when I remembered the soldier beetles.

Those of you who’ve read this blog for a while may know where I’m going with this. It gets a bit x-rated.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

It’s the time of year when soldier beetles show up by the gazillions to, um, frolic on these yellow plants.

Soldier beetles frolicking.

I don’t know why it’s just this plant. The plants don’t have to have flowers so it can’t be a yellow thing.

Soldier beetles getting "better acquainted."

Actually, it is a yellow thing. Apparently soldier beetles (there’s more than one kind) are most frequently seen on goldenrod and milkweed.

Group fraternization.

Bugs intrigue me. I took these pictures to illustrate this annual oddity. Not because the bugs are, you know, doing it.

Seriously. Every year around this time, soldier beetles show up by the gajillions to gather on these plants. Not grass. Not trees. Not clover. Not the ground. On these plants with yellow flowers.

More fun in a crowd.

What I find even odder is that they seem to prefer large, group gatherings.

I guess we’ll just have to learn to live with the weeds. I don’t want to be the one responsible for interrupting hundreds of bug orgies.

There’s bound to be some bad karma associated with a stunt like that…

I would’ve taken more pictures, but that brief foray into the wild was my one bit of freedom for the day. I worked pretty much non-stop from 6:00 AM to just about 6:00 PM.

Some day off, eh?

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