Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back from vacation, grasshoppa!

The boys and I just returned from a long weekend away visiting the grandparental unit in Southwest FL. Farmer B had to stay home to work, but managed to get a snazzy photo of all the flooding in our yard caused by the torrential rains we've been getting lately (see blurry camera phone pic of our new lakefront property). We definitely missed him, but made the most of a long weekend without him.

We managed to have some fun in my mom's back yard. Their house is one of those wonderful houses that is graced with citrus trees that keep producing fruit no matter how many hurricanes flatten them and how much they are left to their own devices. They have several orange trees, a grapefruit tree, some banana trees and a lemon tree that grows enormous lemons. All of these trees have been overwhelmed by salt water on many occasions, thanks to hurricanes and tropical storms, yet still keep growing strong and producing fruit. (This bothers me because our orange tree is a black stick of death and our local nursery blamed us for not taking good enough care it.) Most of the fruit on my mom's trees are quite green right now and not ready to be picked, but Aidan insisted on using a citrus picker to get the oranges on the top of mom's tree, even though they were from last season and were drier than sandpaper. A long-handled citrus picker is a handy little contraption for people with big fruit trees, but apparently it only works if you're at least 4 feet tall.
We then found an Eastern Lubber grasshopper to play with. I am not a fan of bugs, but have played with Eastern Lubbers since I was a kid. I remember that we’d grab one and chase another kid around the schoolyard with it in our hand and try to make it "tobacco spit" on another kid. This spit stains clothes, so it was good fun. Now I look back and realize it was quite mean, but we never really hurt any of the grasshoppers, and a small brown stain on a Van Halen concert t-shirt couldn't have ruined a kid's life either. That tobacco spit is actually regurgitated recently-consumed plant material that they spit out with a big hiss as part of their defense mechanism. They look like a drunk redneck with a wad of Skoal when they get mad.
We were very gentle with this grasshopper, so we have no tobacco spit incidents to report on. The boys were both disgusted and intrigued by this slow moving creepy crawly and they perfected their girly squeal - all good times. Enjoy these photos of their first experience with a big tobacco-spittin' grasshopper.


Caroline said...

I love the J-man's tongue sticking out, too sweet. Kids are jealous of the fruit and the bugs. Glad you had fun.

Carole said...

Glad you enjoyed your vacation weekend.
It was so much fun having the boy's here, they did so many things and you have captured the looks on their faces perfectly. Thanks for making my birthday so much fun

Anonymous said...

Love those pictures What fun!

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