“I dig old books.” ™
Welcome to my page of quotations about bugs and insects, worms, snails, and other beneficial (or pesky) little beings with whom we share the world. See also my pages on: Bees, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Fireflies, Flies, Ladybugs, Scorpions, Spiders. And there are some more worm quotes on the Gardens page. Enjoy!
Large flocks of butterflies, all kinds of happy insects, seem to be in a perfect fever of joy and sportive gladness. ~John Muir, 1867 October 9th, A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf
And a cloud of enraptured, sporting, buzzing little creatures of silk-dust swept or hovered over the undulating picture. ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865
We are closer to the ants than to butterflies. Very few people can endure much leisure. ~Gerald Brenan
And what's a buterfly? At best,
He's but a ceterpillar, drest.
While it is difficult to determine an excuse for existence on the part of some insects, there are others that are obviously pleasure bugs — June-bugs, for instance, honeybees and big black beetles with iridescent green that occasionally walk across the porch with attitudinizing mien; dragon flies with wings flashing in the sun, the evening ghost-like moths. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919 [a little altered
Francesca waved and threw kisses, for she was, after all, a roach beyond reproach. ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), The Blessing of the Beasts, 2007
Bugs have as much right to a place in the shade as we do. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919 [a little altered
The night was awash with the screech of cicadas. These insects had reached the molting stage of their annual transformation. They first emerged in May as sluggish, flightless, dun-colored beetles, but after enough exposure to heat and sunlight, they would undergo an unpleasant metamorphosis. First they would find a tree or a house or a telephone pole and start to climb — slowly, clumsily, driven by mindless instinct — until they reached a particular height known only to themselves. They would cling tight, hold still, and gradually become translucent. Their outer skin would slough away. They would burst out through the napes of their former shells and rise into the sky as steel-spun creatures with wings as loud as joy buzzers. They left their spent husks everywhere. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018
House, n. A hollow edifice erected for the habitation of man, rat, mouse, beetle, cockroach, fly, mosquito, flea, bacillus, and microbe. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
When darkness descends on summer nights, the air around campfires, lanterns and cottage windows becomes filled with swirling moths seemingly intent on self destruction. The suicide fliers are drawn to the flames and light because they normally navigate a straight course by keeping constant the angle of moonlight or sunbeams falling on their eyes. Night lights created by humans disorient moths, causing them to flutter round and round the source without being able to get their bearings. ~Doug Bennet and Tim Tiner, Up North
I saw a snail out of his shell to‑day... His house was much smaller than he was, which fact impressed me by its contrast to our modern scheme of tenantry. We who own houses have them disproportionately large in comparison with ourselves, so that we are tied down to them and unable to go about to view the world as this carefree snail may do at will. Think how simple is his arrangement for furnishing, — he is his own furniture! He has no need for interior decorators, and no thought of moving-day can enslave his soul. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919
Three young uptown roaches arrived in a crate of discarded supermarket vegetables, hidden within the leaves of wilted lettuce. They fell over themselves gibbering and giggling and interrupting each other to answer Erasmus, the roach elder of the community. ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), The Blessing of the Beasts, 2007 [a little altered
The hornet washed his peevish little face with his front legs and reminded me of a queer little old woman in antique garb, — bent over almost double, and with a sharp line of demarcation at his tight-corseted waist, and with his black and yellow petticoat drawn tight about his ankles. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919 [a little altered
Hasn't modern civilized life come to be little else than a fight for life against bugs? ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919
I hate mosquitoes. I mean, I know I'm delicious but dang! ~Author unknown
We starve the rats, creosote the ticks, swat the flies, step on the cockroaches and poison the scales. Yet when these pests appear in human form we go paralytic. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
I feel you upon me,
You're biting me everywhere;
Each time that you sting me
Sensations you bring me,
You bite, but you don't seem to care;
My carcass I'm scratching
While eggs you are hatching
To bring new disturbers to town.
You don't hurt, Mosquito,
When you light upon me,
But, oh baby, when you sit down!
~"Marcheta: A Parody," in The "Wrecks" (An Anthology of Ribald Verse Collected at Reno), c.1933
The Amazon rainforest has 2.5 million species of insects. That's more bugs than iOS 7. ~Internet meme, c.2013 [Windows Vista, Windows Me, Adobe Reader, IE6, or fill in the blank with your own most annoying software/upgrade.
If we were but conscious of our own utter littleness, we would not dare look with contempt on the smallest atom in the world. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840