Life in the tropics – home invasion

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Life in the tropics – home invasion

It was early yesterday morning. There is a ritual to my morning and I was following my schedule as normal … after dressing I sip enough coffee to take my morning pills then grab the hand sprayer to water the orchids that are a big part of life in the tropics. The driftwood orchid display out front under the pygmy date palm needs spraying every day to keep the thin moss covering over the roots just damp-ish. As I finished, I noticed the pitcher plant hanging from the palm trunk needed pruning.

All seemed normal

I try to be a responsible steward of my garden, so I snatched up the hanging pot and brought it in to be cleaned out.The leaves at the top are from newer sprouts and are growing delicate little pitchers on each leaf tip. But, the older cascading branches have started to fade and in some cases grown wrinkled and brown. As I got to work on trimming the spent foliage, out of the middle of the pot flew a large glistening green tree frog … SPLAT! … onto the shelf at the end of the upper cabinets.


I put down the scissors and stared. I contemplated how to return my kitchen to its prior frog-free state. Considering several options, I decided I would place a cup over the amphibian. I could simply slide my hand underneath and convey the intruder back to the wilds of my front garden. The frog, however, didn’t get the memo. As I reached to place the cup over him, he leapt backward … and landed with his cold little belly on the side of my neck!

I’m not sure, but I think I heard someone squealing “EEEWWWWW”!!!

It might have been me.

The interloper took the hint, and jumped to another cabinet and from there he was encouraged to return to the potted plant. Riding triumphantly on a cluster of leaves we went down the hall, out the door and into the garden. Before returning to the kitchen with the plant, I saw the frog off to a new leafy home. Neither of us could look the other in the eye; each somewhat embarrassed by our unexpected intimacy.