Miller moth migration in full swing

I stirred slowly from sleep when I felt her soft velvet touch on my shoulder.

With the sheet thrown back to my knees because of the hot night, my mind followed her willowy touch as she traced a delicate line down my back toward my buttocks. As she reached my waist I was suddenly wide-awake.

Aaauugggghhh, what the heck — a Miller moth.

The Miller migration is on and it's a good one this year.

When I was growing up we called them cannel (sp) bugs. I don't have a clue why, I can't find another reference to them by that name.

Regardless, we see them every year.

I came home the other night and my wife had been on the patio and left the sliding door open. About 10 of the little brown bugs were flying laps around the dining room light. We somehow managed to make it through dinner without fishing one out of an iced tea glass. As we transitioned from the dining room to the kitchen to the bedroom that evening, the Millers seemed to arrive before we did.

In the bedroom I quickly shut out the overhead light and left the ceiling fan going. That sent the squadron of moth bomb divers to my wife's lamp-lit bedside desk where she was removing her contacts and taking her nightly medicines. When I looked over she had a swarm running amok in her hairdo.

As soon as she turned the light out the Miller's immediately became interested in television. With the ceiling fan on high a foot or two from the TV the little rascals were having a tough time of it. Every few seconds I would hear a ceiling fan blade go "thonk" as it launched a Miller into one of the walls. Soon they began to settle down on the ceiling and walls. I counted a little over 50 of them.

In another life when I lived on a fly-fishing river, seeing the evening air swarming with winged bugs would have given me great joy. Here, miles from a trout stream I just shake my head when I think how big a mess these juicy little road bombs are going to make on my windshield. I'm not so sure the fish would bite on them if there was a trout stream in the area.

After being awakened by the bugs in the night I pulled the sheet over my head and slipped back into dreamland.

Next morning as I exited the front door a veritable blanket of sleepy Miller bugs trapped between door and screen dropped to the porch then fluttered away in a brown cloud. A couple flew between my glasses and my face and I entertained the neighbors with a funny little jig on the lawn. Miller bug slime and brown wing dust stuck to my cheek I jumped in the pickup and left for work.

At the first stop sign I lowered the window and shooed one of my little buddies outside. Miller time around here has a whole nother meaning.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

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