Lurking in the Leaves

Frankie Barker and his cousin discover a Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle hideout during a round of golf!

  • Title: Lurking in the Leaves.  Frankie's family is spending winter break with his aunt and uncle in Hawaii, but there's trouble in paradise!

  • Sun, sand and a chance to play some golf with his cousin--Frankie's been looking forward to this trip ever since they got stationed in Honolulu three years ago!

  • In the first couple days of sightseeing, Frankie notices a few plastic rectangular boxes hanging from trees around the island.  They look like the aerial traps he's seen set up to catch forest pests back home.

  • His cousin Beth tells him that Oahu has been invaded by the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, aka CRB, and explains how it has been killing the palm trees and what the locals are doing to stop it from spreading.

  • A couple days later, Beth takes Frankie to the golf club near their house.  They're on the last hole when Frankie shanks a drive into the rough.

  • When he goes looking for his ball, he finds that it's landed atop an old pile of palm fronds tucked behind some scrub brush.

  • WAIT! Didn't Beth say that everyone was supposed to be burning or grinding their yard waste to get rid of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle?  They must've forgotten this pile was here!

  • Frankie and Beth go up to the clubhouse to tell the manager, and she quickly calls the CRB hotline to report their find.

  • The next day a team arrives!  The climbers don't find any damage on the other trees growing on the property...but inspectors find a dozen CRB grubs in the debris pile.

  • They burn the pile, and the manager of the golf course is so grateful to Frankie and Beth for finding the CRB larvae before they had a chance to harm the other trees that she gives them each a member pass to play golf (and use the club pool) as much as they want for the rest of Frankie's visit!

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