While watering my balcony plants this morning I discovered I had a visitor. A grasshopper was perched high on my Celebrity tomato plant. (That’s the name of a hybrid tomato — it isn’t that my tomato plant is famous). We’re four flights up on this side of the building, so some of our balcony visitors are quite a surprise.

My first thought was, “oh cool, aren’t grasshoppers good luck?” Then my scientific brain kicked in. It said, “don’t think of it as so much of a lucky grasshopper think of it as more of a plague of locusts.” 

Thanks science brain — always there to burst my bubble. Grasshopper on the hearth — good luck. Locust on your crops — bad.

Grasshopper or locust — those things do eat plants. I know the frost will get my container garden soon anyway, but I don’t want my few tomatoes to get chomped on in the meantime. So I decide to take a few photos (he’s really cool looking) and then relocate my little intruder. 

Thinking I can just scoop him (or her) up with my hands and fling him over the railing of the balcony, I go for it. This startles the grasshopper, who can indeed hop very forcefully. He jumps off the plant, banging right into my chest as if to say, “back off, b****, this plant is mine.” 

I scream, loudly and flail my arms at my chest in case he’s still there. He is not. He apparently bounced right off my chest and back into my tomato plant. So now he’s still there, and I need to remove him.

I know at this point that using my hands is not the way to go. So I pick up two unused drainage dishes from nearby and use them to form a sort of clamshell over and under the grasshopper. It works very nicely. The makeshift clamshell holds just long enough that I can fling him over the side of the balcony. Since we’re four flights up, I’m not sure if he’ll survive. Never fear. That’s when he sprouts big fluttery wings and uses them to glide softly down — all the while looking back at me like, “you may have won this time but I’ll be back.”

Searching a bit online, I guess they are lucky in many Asian and Native American cultures. (It might be crickets on hearths that are considered lucky though. Meh, close enough. Probably better for all of us that I didn’t try to bring him inside. The cats would go wild!.) 

My search found this: Grasshopper Totem. It was actually cool to have him visit. And it just figures that a symbol of good luck visits my plant, and I rationalized that I should throw him over the balcony. Maybe I’m okay if he has a little nibble, he may have left some good-luck grasshopper poop, but I still don’t want him to eat much of my tomatoes. There’s plenty of stuff to eat down below.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gradmama2011
    Oct 19, 2015 @ 11:12:33

    they say crickets are good luck, but I just consider almost any critter to be good luck. They also say that they only let us see them if they want to. I like your wriing…also the orange cleaner tips. I can use all the cleaning tips I can get. haha


    • alightningbug
      Oct 19, 2015 @ 12:44:57

      Thank you! I agree. I actually love our visitors as long as they don’t eat too much. ;). I felt honored to have the grasshopper visit. We had a wonderful dragonfly early in the summer (I’ll have to find the picture).

      Thank you so very much for visiting my blog!


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