Superman and I were the only witnesses to this nighttime scene. After which, I released the bug and retired the toothbrush.
I have not told the owner of the toothbrush.
“MOM,” he yelled to me next morning, “Is the new green toothbrush mine?”
“YES,” I yelled back, “The white one was worn out.”
But what I didn’t add was, “and it’s in the trash because a giant Western Conifer Seed Bug was sucking on it.”
The Western Conifer Seed Bug’s genus name is Leptoglossus. Lepto is “fine, thin, delicate,” and glossus is tongue. You’d need a “fine, thin, delicate” tongue in order to suck sap from immature pine cones.
Folklore says the inside of native persimmon seeds can predict winter weather. Alas, Folklore doesn’t say *how* to slice the seeds, which can be tricky. Look for the shape of the embryo (and future “seed leaves”):
Fork = mild
Spoon = snow
Knife = “cutting” cold
The method is as accurate as Woolly-bear caterpillar predictions, which is to say, not at all. Both are fun, but with persimmons, you get to lick your fingers.
Every morning, I resist the temptation to pluck a fig from a sidewalk tree. I walk before dawn, but the plump silhouette is clear against the brightening sky.
I’ve watched this fig grow from the size of a chocolate chip to the size of a . . . fig. There are dozens on offer: stem-down, bottoms-up candy for strangers. But I keep walking. Someone might be looking out a window.