Marian Lyman Kirst

Recent Posts

BugBytes: A close look at some baby bugs (and butts)


Welcome back, bug fans. With spring slowly suffusing back into the soggy, snow-flattened earth, and an army of winged, nectar-starved beasts in its wake, you might, rightly, be asking, “Hey, Bug Gal! where the hell have you been?!”

The answer: unofficial maternity leave. That’s right. Last summer bore witness to the arrival of our own little bug, whom we affectionately refer to as the “little ‘wig.”

The moniker owes its origins to a moment of What-Would-David Attenborough-Do inspiration that compelled us to reveal the baby’s sex by forcing our loved ones to study a photograph of an earwig’s caboose. Continue Reading →

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BugBytes: Thoughts on cool beetles and squeamish adults


Finally, springtime is in full swing and summer is just around the corner. This invigorating seasonal shift signals the revival of two key insect-related events:

1) The transformation of our house’s western exposure into a Bacchanalian bone zone for randy swarms of box elder bugs recently sun-flushed from their winter hideaways and onto our front stoop. The result is like something out of a John Waters film: excrement-stained walls and windows, a mailbox filled with copulating foursomes doing it in the dark, and let’s not forget the dribbled gobs of abandoned egg clusters that, when crushed, dissolve into a smear of blood-hued vitals. (more…) Continue Reading →

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BugBytes: Sometimes, life imitates Pokémon


A couple of weeks ago, I made a grave mistake. A friend posted this message on Facebook: “I just helped my 56-year-old boss catch a Charmander in our shop…” My idiot response: “What the hell is a Charmander?”

At first, for a shiny, short-lived second, I assumed my friend was simply using an obscure common name to refer to a wayward snake or lizard. Thus, I was nearly out the door to aid in what I imagined to be an exciting, around-the-office reptile rescue. (more…) Continue Reading →

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BugBytes: There’s more to flies than meets the eye


For most Montanans, flies probably fall into two groups: 1) Things you swat, often with lunatic gusto and 2) Things you cast, often (in my case) with lunatic glee. And if asked to visualize a “fly,” most people probably picture something that resembles the familiar, if drab, house and cluster flies that shelter—or become trapped—in homes. Or, perhaps, they envisage the metallic bluebottles that amass in droning clouds around garbage cans and dog poop. (more…) Continue Reading →

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BugBytes: The snakefly, an insect worth bragging about


Montana’s slow burn into summer has begun. And for those of us with a consuming fondness for the mini, the many-legged, the winged and wisp-like, it’s a welcome time, as the warm, lingering days compel troops of tiny creatures to materialize, as if magicked from the pores of the earth, to exploit the season’s riches for genetic ends. (more…) Continue Reading →

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