Sunday Stills: Summer Bugs

We’re lucky to live in an area that doesn’t have too many bugs… at least the type of bugs that bug us.

We have insects:

… and we have arachnids:

But buggy bugs? Not so much.

I was at a loss when I saw that this week’s Sunday Still photo prompt was Summer Bugs, until I thought of my first car: a 1972, chartreuse, Volkswagen Super Beetle. I loved that car, not only because it was as cute as a bug, but because of the sense of freedom it gave me.

Cool car, unfortunate perm

Although that car is long gone, I still love VW Bugs, as my photo archives will attest. Here are just a few pictures of VDubs that I have taken over the years while traveling.  

Bugs found along Route 66

The Bug Farm in Conway, Texas has a permanent crop of five Volkswagen beetles planted nose-down in the ground. It is a parody of the more famous Cadillac Ranch in nearby Amarillo.

In Holbrook, Arizona, just down the street from the Wigwam Motel (yes, each “room” is shaped like a teepee, and, yes, we stayed there), is Kester’s Bug Shop. where they have bugs of unique shapes and sizes.

Bugs of Mexico

Vintage VW Bugs are everywhere on the streets of Mexico… some are in better shape than others.

Hometown Bugs

These bugs were discovered in our neighborhood.

A shy bug hiding behind a plumeria bush
A neighbor is restoring a 1971 Super Beetle

This week’s theme for Terri Webster Schrandt’s Sunday Stills photo prompt is Summer Bugs. See Terri’s photographs on her blog, Second Wind Leisure. If you have some favorite bug images, please join in!

Author: Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

125 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Summer Bugs”

  1. Your opening image with the bee on the sunflower is spectacular, Janis! I have a similar one. OMG, you look so cute with your bug (and your perm)! What great memories you must have of your chartreuse bug. Gret images of VWs. Both you and Debbie had similar creative ideas for the theme! Glad all is well with you.

    1. I just read Deb’s post… great minds and all that 🙂 Btw, I had my post written and formatted for last week’s prompt, than I ran into a WP snag. By the time the WP “Happiness” Engineers got back to me, it was way past Sunday. I was happy to get this one written and posted!

  2. You did good with ‘bug.’ 🙂 Kind of funny too that my first car was a VW bug, but mine was a pea green color. One thing I remember is the only heat coming in from the vent near the floor. I carried a blanket in the winter. 🙂

  3. The type of bugs that bug us….ha, ha! Exquisite photos, Janis! Very witty, your segue to the Volkswagen Beetle. You are still adorable in the photo, even with your hair.🙂 We had a Volkswagen Van in the Yukon that was totalled. Long story….we are not totalled. Good thing. Thank you for sharing an excellent post!

  4. I like the way your mind works! Such a creative response to the prompt for “bugs.” 🙂 Our family always had VW bugs, too…we actually made a cross country trip in a VW bug, all four of us, from Miami to Oregon for a five-week adventure. Oh, and I had an “unfortunate” perm too, LOL. More than once, I’m sorry to say. That’s a cute photo of you, perm and all.

  5. I love your bugs better than mine, Janis. Only two mosquito bites tonight. 🙂 Seriously, what a cool interpretation of this week’s photo prompt. I really like the look of the VW Beetles, even the “new” version. But, I never owned or drove in one. You were – and still are – one cool lady. That first shot is spectacular as well!!

    1. Yes, I prefer my bugs not to bite. Sorry about the mosquitoes… they love me so I’m happy we don’t have many here. I’m surprised that you never even drove in a Beetle… were they not popular where you grew up? They were everywhere here in SoCal.

      1. There were some Beetles around when I grew up in Belgium, but I didn’t really drive until after college. And then I took off traveling most of the time, so I never shared someone’s car and I never owned my own car.

  6. I never owned a VW bug although I got a ride into uni every day from someone who did. I was in the front passenger seat, ice scraper in hand, to defrost on the fly during our winter commute as the damn heater/defroster didn’t work…LOL! I did have perms though. Yours looked great (as did you!), Janis.

    Deb

  7. This was great to read Janis, your bug photos are great but you VW bug story and photos were spectacular!! I love that we both had a similar idea using the old VW Bugs for this challenge 🙂 So cool!

  8. Alan’s first car was a Bug he bought from his parents as a teenager. By the time we met a couple of years later, he had done a 180 and was driving a Camaro. Sadly, I’ve never had an opportunity to ride in a Bug, and we rarely see any originals here in the northeast. So happy your topic switched from one bug to another. For a minute there, I thought I might have to bypass your post due to the potential creepiness factor. Although I appreciate the beauty of your photos, I am definitely not a fan of the first type of bugs!

    1. Haha! I didn’t mean to creep you out! With as much camping as you do, I’d think you would be blasé about bugs… they come with the territory, don’t they? I’m not surprised that you don’t see vintage bugs where you live.. the heaters didn’t work well and the undercarriages would have rusted out long ago.

  9. I love VW bugs … the original bug, that had virtually no heating, which (trust me on this one) was more than a major inconvenience in the deep cold of a Northern Ontario winter!!! I learned how to drive in a VW bug and my teenage summers were filled with adventure because of that wonderful newfound freedom only a vehicle can give you.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful memories you just conjured up for me!!

    btw – mine was khaki green, dented, banged up, used and abuse. It was perfect ❤️

  10. It sure looks like you bugged a lot of people with this article, but such a great idea. A much better read than learning about mosquitoes.

  11. Janis, you had a Ziggy just like my wife. She loved her yellow bug and drove it until it could drive no more. And, since she named cars, Ziggy was its name. In a recent post, I noted we still name cars. Nice picture and the perm is not bad. My wife had her big hair back then, so she laughs now looking back, as well. I bet you both still turned a few heads back then with our without the bugs. Keith

  12. This was a fun post that took me down memory lane! My Mom had the cutest little yellow VW Bug when I was a young teen, then shortly before I was going to start learning to drive seriously, not driving on old log roads or a dune buggy but on real roads where I’d have to learn all the rules of the road my mom sold the bug and bought a Karmann Ghia. I wasn’t allowed to drive it. I had to drive the family station wagon. 😂

    I’ve been to that TeePee Motel on Route 66!! I didn’t stay there, but the owner allowed a friend and I to tour it and photograph one of the teepees’ interior. It was a fun stop on that road trip.

  13. Such a clever big post and super cool collection of photos of bugs! I was hoping you’d include Mexico …always thought that’d the kind of car we would have here but as it turns out when you travel with a dog and his bed, more space is required.

    Love your first nature shot and the one of you in 1972! I had a few disastrous perms too. They were definitely a thing back then!

    Peta

    1. There are so many VWs in Mexico that I have quite a “bug collection” in my photo archives 🙂 I can understand why you might need a roomier car. VDubs are fun to drive but not all that practical for long distances. Good to know that you were in the Bad Perm club too!

  14. Fun post! I had a metallic teal green bug in the early 80’s. Similar to the ones in your photos from Mexico. A large hole in the floorboard was covered with a piece of plywood. Thanks for that memory. Also, awesome spider photo. 🙂

  15. Oh Janis – I was raised on VWs.
    Our fam drove a 59(?) olive green one back when they were cheap but you had to wait several months for them to cross the ocean ready for delivery!!!
    We then added the ‘new’ car in 1968! I learned how to drive on that ‘new’ one in 1970 – officially that is, of course tooled around with the clutch and such while in the garage at an earlier age – shhhhh!
    I found a youtube awhile back that basically has the ‘sound’ of the VW and it brought back soooooo many gooooood memories! I would have put in a link here, but it’s not around anymore
    😦

    1. Oh my gosh… hearing the sound of the old VWs would bring back so many memories! I love that you had so many VWs in your family. We were a “Ford Family” (the Mustang in back of my bug in the picture was my dad’s) until us kids started to buy foreign 🙂

  16. I am late to the comment party but read them all! I had naturally curly hair so never joined the bad perm club but have had many a bad hair day!
    My hubby’s first car was a VW Bug and the story Deb was telling about driving to univ with the scraper in hand is also the one he tells as he grey up in Calgary. Alas my first vehicle was a little blue Toyota something – put on a lot of cross Canada miles in it. No name though. Sadly I’ve never ridden in a VW Bug but I made a 6 hour road trip to Northern Alberta in a Karmman Ghia. NOT fun!!
    Loved your take on the insect theme!!

      1. Oh I had my share of bad hair days! Man how I miss that curl now that it’s white. I could so not do a 6 hour car trip like that now – squished in the back seat!

      1. They will always be creepy to me. 🙂 But I can appreciate an incredible photo such as yours. It’s their ability to startle that scares the bejeebies out of me. I wrote a story about my spider antics that will be in my new book coming out next month. 🙂

  17. I actually learned to drive in my dad’s VW bug and credit that experience with being one of my only friends, many years later, comfortable with stick shift. LOL! As a child we went from California clear across the country to meet family in Mississippi crammed into a Volkswagon, of course with no air conditioning. I was much heartier as a child than I am now. My husband and I had a Bug in the early 70’s too. I recently mentioned to my husband that I’d like another one and he quickly responded that I should…I was really only waxing nostalgic, and don’t think it’s at all practical for our current needs. But when I’m in one of those moods, I do yearn. 🙂 What a fun post, and loved your photo. Thank you.

    1. I love all these stories about cross-country trips in VW Bugs! It sounds very adventurous… especially with bad – or non-existent – heating or cooling 🙂 I don’t think I’d want another bug, but have you seen pictures of the all-electric VW van they are coming out with? It’s gorgeous!

      1. I think we must have been “hardier” people back then. I remember actually driving through the deserts of Arizona through parts of Texas and it was a big treat because our parents would let us have a Coke! LOL! I have seen the all-electric VW van and I just love it! If I were a little younger…. 🙂

  18. This a fun post Janis and what a collection of Beetle photos you have gathered. I loved the photos with the Beetles on their side. I’m far behind in Reader but scrolling through to see what I’ve yet to catch up on and saw this post and you with your Super Beetle. Well, we have something else in common besides our age … I also had a Super Beetle, a 1973 Biscay Blue Beetle. My parents bought it when I graduated high school to have good transportation for when I started college. But my Super Beetle should have been yellow as it was a lemon! If it rained or snowed, it wouldn’t start half the time and would need a tow. It had this perpetual stalling problem and I was told that the issue was because the car had no clutch and you only shifted if going above 55 and I just did city driving and a short hop on the expressway to get to the community college I attended. But yes, it was a cute as a bug’s ear and a complete fill-up cost a mere $3.00. It sure took a long time to heat up in the Winter and I’d be at school before it was warm. In this post, I showed my blue Beetle when I graduated with my Associates degree and mentioned some of its quirks. If you click the photo, it will be easier to see. I got a burglar alarm for it and every time the wind blew, the car started screeching. The day I got it, the car rolled down the driveway into the street and leaked fluid everywhere – a brand-new car!
    https://lindaschaubblog.net/2014/06/27/strollin-and-rollin-downriver/

    1. Wow, your new car did that? (Surprised, not surprised.) Those bugs had their challenges but, when they worked right, they were fun to drive. I bought my 1972 VDub used (probably around 1978, when the picture was taken) from a neighbor so I knew it worked pretty well… which it did until it was stolen 😦 I’m loving all these great VW memories people are sharing!

      1. Yes – brand new Janis! That should have told us it was destined to be a lemon. My father and I went to pick the car up, I drove behind him, parked it in the driveway and went in to eat dinner. Neighbor called and said the car rolled down the driveway! It was fun to drive though and I got some pinstriping detail done on the side of it. I think the non-Super Beetles with the clutch were not problematic. My father had one for years and had no problems with it. And, I got stuck in the car wash one time too. One of those car washes where you put it in neutral and roll along. Well, the car wash malfunctioned and I was right in the middle of the wash … they shut off the car wash and told me to put it in “drive” and just drive out. But the car stalled due to the water – it had issues in snow and rain. They had to push and try to carry the car out, then had to call the auto club to give me a jump. I was advised to park it backwards in the driveway – something to do with the incline in the driveway. I’ll have to go back and check out the comments … it’s like being in a “club” of sorts. 🙂

          1. My father said it was unsafe to drive and took it over for a while and eventually got rid of it as he didn’t feel it was reliable. I went from the frying pan into the fire when I bought a Pacer as it also had intermittent stalling issues and I got two or three gas tanks as the car rode low on the ground. You’re right – the carwash story has been told quite a few times, but I think it was the death knell for feeling safe in that car.

  19. My first car was also a VW “bug!” And I still think one of the things that attracted me to my husband was the fact that when I met him, he drove an old white “bug” he actually had named Zelda. It’s brakes were not particularly dependable, and when he drove through puddles some of them splashed up through the floorboards, but he loved that car!

  20. Look at you back then! Love those old and warm-looking photographs in our collections. This post was so timely, Janis, because only this morning I parked next to a beautiful red VW bug at the gym and admired it for several minutes. Now I read your fun post. I love it when the universe works like that. – Marty

  21. Hi Janis! You look so cute with your bug! I so wish I had a photo of me with my first car…it wasn’t a bug but a Datsun. Remember those. I called it Bud because it was bright orange and yes, reminded me of a Budwizer can. I loved that car and I’m guessing you loved yours. Like you said, it wasn’t so much that it had a lot of features…mine was a stick shift and no air conditioning (yes even in the desert) but it was freedom to me too. And YES,…your other photos of “bugs” were equally cute. ~Kathy

    1. I was amazed that I had that photo. I had already written that I was sad not to have a photo… then I looked in a different photo album and there it was! I had to delete that paragraph but was thrilled to add the picture to my post. I remember feeling so proud of my first car.

  22. 1st – That first photo of the bee on the red flower… FABULOUS!
    2nd – So jealous of an area without too many bugs… I’d be happy to send you a few… a lot!
    3rd – love, Love, LOVE your take on the “Bugs” prompt!
    4th – That green bug!? The shy bug hiding behind a plumeria bush?! That’s MY car! Those aren’t my shrubs, but that’s my car. I drove a candy-apple red one for 10 years. When I was about to retire in 2017, I traded it for the one I have now… That green one you have a picture of! (It was all part of the big weird transition from being me – a teacher who drove a red bug to the new (and improved) me – not a teacher any more who didn’t drive the red bug any more.
    🙂

    1. Hi Helen! Sorry for this late reply to your lovely comment. I’ve been traveling and I often miss emailed notices of comments that need approval (not sure why yours need to be approved, though). Anyway, I love that you have a VW! I hope the new and improved you has as much fun driving it around as I did my old VW.

      1. That’s awesome. I know what you mean, I dusted a framed photo of the younger me and then looked in the mirror…it is quite the difference, yet still a twinkle of that girl. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of youthful moments happening on a daily basis!

  23. First, I love how you responded to the “Bug” challenge. Second, I’m a little jealous that you don’t have many bugs where you live. And, last… that green bug hiding behind the plumeria bush is my car! For 10 years I drove a candy-apple red bug. When I retired, I traded for that green one. I love driving it.

  24. What a clever take on the “Summer Bugs” prompt, Janis. I love all the photos, but especially the one of you with your first car. Nice!

  25. Lovely flower pic! Bugs are super cute. I was just noticing that the other day when I saw an older one. However! I must note what looks to be a Mustang parked behind your chartreuse bug. A vintage ‘stang is my dream car. 🙂

  26. I used to think I didn’t like bugs (the creepy crawly kind). But as your photos show, they are so magnificently beautiful, up close, if not climbing up your arm or leg. Great photos. As far as VW bug, since they came out, they made me smile when I saw them on the road. Your smile in the ‘vintage’ photo shows that your VW made you happy. I never owned a Bug, but for a decade I owned a VW Cabrio (convertible) and it’s my most favorite car ever. Too bad they discontinued them. To bugs of all sizes and varieties. 🙂

  27. I just came over from Karen’s blog about your vacation together. this was so much fun to read and brought back memories of my husband’s black bug when we were dating.

  28. I remember one of the girls in my street got her first car and it was a bug. It was a very popular first car. The engine had a particular sound. Great interpretation of this theme.

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