Saturday, September 17, 2016

Night of the living dead

parasitized hornworm on jalapeno leaf.
Home just before 10 and out to the deck to water plants. My zephyranthes (rain lilies) are really starting to bloom, but it's too dark to get a good photo. Found this critter on a jalapeno leaf and brought it inside to get a closeup. I think I'll call it Sebastian: a parasitized hornworm. All those little white rice-sized bits are wasp eggs, each a dart piercing this poor dude. They're feeding on the caterpillar. I imagine the larvae swimming through his internal goo to emerge from his eyes or forehead, but I really don't know the specifics. Nature can be such good, creepy fun.

I saw on Facebook this morning that Edward Albee has died (yesterday). This makes me so sad: he was such a brilliant writer. I enrolled in his playwriting course years ago at the University of Houston, and used to see Mr. Albee on campus--he was always friendly, genial, warmly encouraging of my writing (my application portfolio was poems, and when I learned that he had, early on, tried to be a poet, I was pretty smitten by the notion that I, too, might write plays someday). In class, he could be a bit chatty, but who didn't want to hear stories about John Gielgud and Irene Worth in Tiny Alice? I stupidly hoped he might live and write forever.

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