Me, prior to bearing witness to the largest bug I have ever seen in my life.

So I’m back from New York, and the reason that I have placed my face front and center at the top of this post is that so we may dispense with it quickly, and move onto more interesting things.

What you see above is the face of a happy girl. This is me at Travaasa Spa, where I went yesterday to receive a “watsu” treatment. In this photo, I have been watsued mere moments ago.

I have a friend who works at Travaasa, and went there myself for the first time a few months ago. Spas are always imbued with their own calming, zen-like force field, but there’s something extra about Travaasa.  Maybe it’s the drive in, which makes you feel like you’re leaving Austin, via a dark, tree-covered portal out of the city.

Anyway, when I got the opportunity to try out watsu for free (that word is so fun to say I’m going to see how many times I can use it in this blog post), I wrote back “YES!!” to the person that offered it.  I didn’t know anything about the treatment, but frankly, it doesn’t take much to entice me to hang out at a spa all afternoon.

I would later find out that watsu involves you and a practioner, in a private pool, where they put you on your back, then move you and stretch you in a variety of poses. It’s just beginning to catch on here in Austin, but is a form of therapy practiced all over the world, and often with disabled individuals.  Laura, my practioner, also told me that lots of people come to watsu when they have a fear of water, and then go onto learn how to swim.

My session blissed me out so thoroughly that I felt a little languid afterwards, slinking to the parking lot.  I finally made it to my car though, got in, and shut the door.

This is the point at which my afternoon at the spa turned into a weird, naturalist children’s story. The main character is a bug so huge, I suspected it was part mammal.

It was hanging out on my side rear view mirror.

Ironically, the object on this mirror is much smaller than it appears, because you can’t really get the scope of this thing in this picture. Let’s try a closer shot.


I took this picture while hiding inside my car, windows rolled firmly up.

To come up with a title for this post, I appealed to the Internet. I Googled, “very large green bug, Texas.” Grasshopper? Nope. Beetle? No. Caterpillar? No, silly Internet.

Eventually, the results of this quite scientific inquiry showed that this bug is a katydid (at least … I think). A bug I feel like I have been hearing about my whole life, or at least remembering its name, which sounds like the first part of a sentence. But I’ve seen one up close before only rarely.

Anyway, as we were pulling out of the spa, my katydid and I, I drove a little slowly at first, so as to give him a soft landing for the moment he inevitably let go. He didn’t.

“Alright, bug, we’re entering a road now — you’re going to get squished!” I said. He crouched down on the mirror.

“Have it your way,” I sighed, and turned left onto the spa’s exit street.

I drove about two miles to an H-E-B. When I parked and got out, guess who was still there?

I went inside, bought groceries, came back.


“Bug, seriously, I’m about to get on the freeway, OK?” I said, pulling out. “This is not going to end well.”

I entered the frontage road, preparing for the worst.

Instead, my katydid bore down on the mirror, ENTERED THE FREEWAY and still hung on!  Not for one or two stops, either: we’re talking north Austin to central Austin transit!

When I pulled into my driveway back at home — after, with the grocery trip, about a 45 minute trip — my katydid peeked out again, antennae twitching.

I’m still completely baffled as to how he made it. I mean — does it not look like his tiny, flat, insect feet are resting on top of that plastic mirror with NO grip?  What is going on here?

I went inside to make dinner, and when I came back, he was gone. Maybe my katydid is walking around my yard somewhere, or maybe Claudia has stalked him already. I’m inclined to say I made him up, a blunt metaphor my subconscious created around “holding on” or the power of tenacity, had I not any photos.

I’m just hoping he doesn’t accidentally find Claudia’s water bowl, because unlike me, my katydid will definitely not appreciate a watsu treatment.