Thursday, December 14, 2006

Super Fly

The new species of Whitefly that arrived a few years ago and went into plague proportions island wide still hangs on at plague levels in some locations. The increasing number of travelers, immigrants from the mainland and the goods they need that are shipped in to the state of Hawaii have also increased the rate at which hitch hiking critters arrive. Many of these insect species do find this place paradise.

This Super Fly is particularly fond of Plumeria. I was beheading a tree that is not allowed to be tree today and this is the underside of a leaf from that poor tree.

The perimeter of the house is regularly doused with preventative pesticides and poison granules are strewn about by a pest control service. Hopefully this will kill all the ants, roaches, centipedes, scorpions, termites and any other bug deemed bad when it non-discriminately kills everything else. This is the result. In the absence of a balanced predator/prey relationship the sucking bugs thrive.

The tops of the lower leaves get covered in Honeydew or bug excrement and a black mildew grows in this sticky poo. The sap of Plumeria is also a sticky white latex and the whole concoction is just disgusting to trim.

Five blocks away in an organic garden were the bugs are welcomed and the birds sing from dawn to dusk and the lizards bounce through the shrubberies with an audible plop the Plumeria leaves look a lot different. A touch of rust and a couple of scale are all that have managed to mar these leaves that were produced last May. The rust and the scale on Plumeria trees were here twenty years ago when I first arrived and the trees still thrived.

Plumeria was a desired small to medium sized tree for the garden. It brought shade and fragrance and bloomed all season long.

After the Whitefly and the Papaya Mealybug plagues, Plumeria trees in bad locations started getting chopped down in the fancy neighborhoods were bugs were not allowed. No amount of additional poison seemed to help the problem quickly enough. No amount of coaxing, that to stop spreading poison was the solution would be heard. The Honeydew falling from their canopies landed on expensive cars and that just would not do. They had to go. Those that remain may slowly suffer the same fate.

The ex-husband of a dear friend, the youngest son of wonderful parents and good clients, the father of a fine young man and brother to two brothers passed away yesterday. He was a good and honorable man. This is a loss of the worst kind for his parents and his son.

Some bug got into his system and he was no longer strong enough to fight it off. I don't know the particulars of what took him. I know the general undiscussed realities. He had the same disease I do. I listened to the coaxing and stopped ingesting a poison that was slowly killing me. Keep coaxing me Lord.

Nobody knows why some of us get lucky and so many have to die to soon. He was loved. He will be missed by many. He was a good man. Rest in Peace my friend.


Pam/Digging said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, Christopher.

The County Clerk said...


Me too.

whistlestop caboose said...

Thanks for writing this, and for helping the rest of us to pause and think how easy it is to slip over that line and not make it back. Last night I watched the news from Britain, so much about the killer of 5 prostitutes, all of whom were selling their bodies to get money for drugs. There was a wonderful program afterwards with a young woman - a mother of small children - who used to do the same but was able to get out of that world and stay out. She said a couple times, please, don't tell people to just be strong and stop: it's not that easy.