Bugs of New Mexico by the DH

John's still writing! Yipee!! to Judy, the flamingo's stick has been ailing lately and John hasn't decided how to fix it yet, soon he should be back up, that would be cool if the aliens visited him. Now for the real post:


One of the local trails here has numbered posts along the route with a guide that explains something about whatever it is you’re looking at. In this case, what you’re looking at is a concrete impression of what various local animal tracks would look like if that animal had stepped in wet concrete. (Just to be thorough, the first station was for a barefoot human although you would have to be demented to be walking through the scrub without shoes. Thick soled hiking boots would be best.) We never saw tracks of anything other than in the concrete patches, but we did see a jackrabbit. And some bugs.

I was washing the rig today and got to wondering if it might be possible to identify bugs by the splatter pattern they leave. They’re not as consistent as animal tracks, but you might be able to puzzle out some characteristics of the deceased bug, depending on the speed of impact and the surface it met. The bugs that managed to hit the cooling fins behind the truck grill are easy, since most of the bug is still there. This bug population should be representative of what hit the truck grill and the front of the rig so we have a shopping list of bugs to match to their splatter patterns along with a rough frequency of occurrence.

Most of the bugs are nat size and just leave a single splat about the size of the original bug. No way to tell how many of them were those really annoying biting ones, but good riddance. The larger ones include dragonflies and butterflies, with about twice as many dragonflies as butterflies. The wings and stuff are gone, so it’s hard to tell what’s what but I’m guessing the dragonflies make the bigger mess. Also, there’s at least one bug that doesn’t just spread out on the gel coat; it seems to bond with it.

I didn’t see many grasshoppers behind the grill, but they’re all over the campground so I’m thinking they just don’t stick to the cooling fins as well as some bugs. Also, some of the bugs were from Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma so I’m not even sure which ones are from New Mexico. But I’m sure New Mexico has mosquitos. And flies.
View from the visitors center Carlsbad Caverns


  1. Are you trying to drive us buggy?? :) Never thought of analyzing bug splatters. I'm hoping the heavy rains today will take care of the windshield so I can start anew tomorrow!

  2. Lol. I always wondered...why don't some bugs have red blood? All the 'splat' stuff seems to be an odd shade of greenish-yellow. and..did you ever wonder about that lone bug that seems to hang on for miles onto the windshield..when you finally get to where you are going, does he miss his lil bug family back home? :)

  3. Sometimes technology gets the best of us! (like my printer today) Glad to have you "back in the fold". :)

  4. You mentioned washing the trailer. Does the campground allow it? Water is very precious out here, and each campground has signs about not allowing trailer washing.

    I'm just curious how you did it. We met one guy who washed his entire trailer with auto detailing spray, spray on and wipe off. You'd need a lot of it, and it would be rather expensive.

  5. There was nothing posted at this campground and we saw others washing so John decided to wash the grill of the truck and the front cap of the trailer. We washed the whole trailer and truck when we were camped near Kansas City. There you paid a $10 fee to wash, but that's less than the car wash so it worked out well. He always tries to be conservative when washing using a bucket and soap and only rinsing when he is ready. I think conservation is always a good idea.


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