Tuesday, November 16, 2010

angel on my shoulder

The broad strokes of this trip can wait until I get back to Melaque.  But certain events require contemporary reporting.

On Monday night we decided to take a breather in our "If-this-is-Tuesday-it must-be-Oxkutzcab" tour of the Yucatan.

It wasn't Monday.  And it wasn't Oxkutzcab -- though I do love writing the word.

We were in Tikul -- an equally fun word -- deep into conversation and our tortas cubanas in the town plaza.  Watching a bat hunt insects among the trees.  When we experienced a Clement Clarke Moore moment. 

No Saint Nicholas.  No lawn.  No sash to be thrown up.

But there was a clatter.  Almost like a child banging on a pot lid.  But just once.  From the top of the neighboring metal table.

Fox Mulder would have identified it as an alien.  I took a bit more moderate approach.

It was a katydid.  But unlike any katydid I have ever seen.  This one was the size of my hand.  And looked every bit as if it had been dressed for mardi gras as a leaf.

No insect is going to cow Islagringo and me.  Instead, we crept up on it with our cameras and started snapping away like a bus of Sapporo tourists.

The waitress kept her distance.  But she egged us on to pick it up.  And pick it up I did.

Rather, I let it walk up my hand -- and arm -- and shoulder.  The feel of its small clawed feet was interesting.  Almost a tickle. 

In the excitement, I forgot a basic fact about katydids.  They are hoppers.  And big katydids can hop big.

We had to retrieve it twice to continue our paparazzi routine. 

When we boys were done playing with our toy, I let it free in a shrubbery.

It was a small thing.  The moment, not the katydid.  But it will be one of my fond memories of this excursion through the remnants of the Mayan empire.


Anonymous said...

You may not know it, but the katydid has several family members, each distinguished by its temporal aspect:



Anonymous said...

love that previous comment! how cool to have had it walk on your shoulders. i once stopped traffic in japan to save a huge praying mantis. they are real neat looking too!

can't wait to hear more about your trip but i know i'll have to wait.

take care,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping us up on your adventures, whether large or small. They are all interesting. Are all the Katydids in that part of the country that big?


Adrienne said...

As much as I love the katydid story and boys at play, please, please, tell us more about tortas cubanas. Don't know that they're one of my dietary can-haves, but I love savoring ingredients lists.