Tuesday, July 02, 2013

dry fruit

T.S. Eliot warned us:

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
He could have been talking about Dalila.  Our late lamented tropical storm that was predicted to bring us arks and animals.  Instead,  we ended up with sprinkles.  And not the kind that top Cold Stone ice cream cones.

A new animal did show up yesterday morning on what my Mexican neighbors call a passion fruit vine.  I was under the impression that passion fruit were purple.  They are.  But they are also yellow.  And the one in my yard -- that threads its way through several bougainvillea --  is yellow.

But I was not out there to have a one-sided debate with myself about the proper color of fruit rinds.  I cannot say what first caught my eye.  Maybe a bit of movement.  From what I thought was a dry-season shriveled leaf.

As you can see, it is not a leaf.  But it is a leaf-footed bug. 

I am not trying to be clever.  That is its common name -- and very effective camouflage.  It is a well-known pest to orchardists.  Thus its presence on a fruit in my yard.

A little research added one interesting note about this variety of leaf-footed bug.  This is the Chilean leaf-footed bug.  What makes it different is that, unlike its multiple level of cousins who are rather docile,
Señor Chile will (and does) bite humans.

When I first saw it, I thought my courtyard was a breeding ground for the assassin bug that carries Chagas disease.  A rather nasty tropical parasitical disease that we do not need to discuss in detail.  If it had been an assassin bug, I would have headed inside to retrieve the Raid.

But, it wasn't.  And I didn't. 

I stood there watching its slow progress for almost an hour.  I have no idea what it was doing.  Trying to eat through the rind?  Looking for love amongst the passion fruit?  Or just out for a walk -- happy that it was not drowning in Dalila's anguish over Sampson?

By then, I was late for a luncheon date.  But what matters time when the world is ending with a sprinkly whimper?

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