Yesterday I spent the morning in my studio for the first time in almost a year. Actually, I was working on my blog, but I never could get connected to the internet event though my extender and also my personal hot spot on my cell phone both registered as strong signals. I was just about to give up and go up to the house, but there are so many interesting things in my studio to photograph, that I got involved in snapping a few pictures for Cee’s new “Compose Yourself” challenge.
Then, as I gathered my camera and computer and coffee cup to go up to the house, my eyes fell on something that gave me a shock. Surreal! Sure, it was something I had seen before, but definitely not in my studio!! Yet there it was, placed on top of a screwtop drink container that came with my blender, next to a jar of brushes, right by the window. This is what I saw:
It was a katydid. I’d seen one this big before, on a bush outside my bedroom door the first month I’d lived in my house. As a matter of fact, fascinated by its alien looks and behavior, I’d put it in a large jar with air holes for two hours while I observed and wrote about it; but how did this one get here? As I snapped picture after picture, it never moved, and I realized that it must have just become trapped in my studio, died and dried out in that pose. But what were the chances it would die in such a prominent spot?
I haven’t even been in my studio for months and since it had been totally shut up, there is no way this object could have found its way into my studio, unless it hatched out there. But in that case, what would it have found to eat?
Then the solution occurred to me. Yolanda had at other times arranged strange little tableaux for me and just waited patiently for me to find them. She and Pasiano knew my fascination for insects, for instance this is one that he had brought in from the pool a few days ago:
I shuddered to think I’d been swimming and exercising in the pool for an hour and a half in the dark the night before! At six inches long, with pinchers the size of tweezers, that millipede could have seriously damaged me!
So, I was sure either Pasiano or Yolanda had found the dead katydid and set it up as a surprise for me. Hilarious. (Pasiano just called this insect a chapulin which is a grasshopper. It seems that the Spanish language does not distinguish between the two. When I put “katydid” in a translator, it translated as “saltamante,” but when I put both names in Google Image, they showed both pictures of grasshoppers and katydids for both.
I took at least 50 more shots of the beautiful green insect, then decided to move the paintbrushes to get a better angle, and when I did, HIS ANTENNAE TWITCHED!!!!Yes, he was alive! Quickly I got a paper towel and cupped it over the top of him and carried the blender bottle, towel, uninvited guest––all out to the hibiscus shrubbery closest to the wall next to my spare lot. By now the two dogs had developed an interest, so I placed him far out of their jumping range.
Can you even find him in this photo? Here is a larger picture that might make it easier to see him in his natural habitat.
I looked away for a few seconds to readjust my camera and when I next tried to find him, he was gone. I had seen no flurry of wings, no movement. He just vanished. When I told this story to a friend that night, he said, “How do you know?” Ha. He had a point. He might have still been there. How would I have known? All he had to to was to adjust his position slightly, and he would have become another leaf.
Lest this post become to long, I’m going to try to find the poem about the katydid I wrote 14 years ago. If I find it, I’ll publish it tomorrow in a different post.
Always a new thrill in Mexico, where if your friends don’t furnish it, nature will!