Thursday, July 19, 2012

Breakfast conversation

"Grasshoppers are eating my soybeans, I mumbled gloomily to him over my coffee. My squash are probably next on their menu. The bugs are out there eyeing them."
"Grasshoppers can't precisely control the direction they hop in" he laughed. "They just hop high and hard to evade and wherever they land they start eating."
 "They don't discriminate about direction?" I asked skeptically (in the married manner). "Seems like an evolutionary error."
"Well", he said, "They're usually hatched out in the middle of a field so they don't have to navigate.  No matter where they land there's always something to eat".

So I googled grasshoppers and spent a couple of hours re-learning insect facts I used to know and marveling at the many protective devices the grasshopper has - first and foremost those marvelous legs which actually work like a catapult. They are amazing little creatures, but I don't want to share my crop with them. 

Here are my tattered and torn beans with a grasshopper feasting. The plants are pretty well history and the hopper didn't seem to mind my camera or the food was too good to leave behind. Perhaps they save the jumps for real emergencies.

 The squash patch -  next up for lunch.

While I fight the grasshoppers, a picking crew is hard at work picking our avocados. The grueling work of climbing up and down the ladders is even worse today - 85 degrees in the grove. 

The job with too many ups and downs

Intrepid and energetic young man in red, high on the ladder

Bins filling up

Ladders are everywhere


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