Friday, May 8, 2009

Creature Features

A person living in the tropics gets used to seeing insects, butterflies, moths, iguanas, birds, and other creatures on a regular basis. What is interesting is how HUGE they are! The iguana that suns himself on my patio wall is nearly three feet long. He watches me in the pool and I watch him back sitting on the top of the wall. I think he will let me take a good photo of him soon.

With a house load of cats, often when I wake up during the night, I see the cats in a circle carefully studying something. Curiosity gets me and I check it out. The cats particularly enjoy hunting the prehistoric sized cockroaches outside, bringing them in, and chasing them around until they are unable to play anymore. Sometimes roaches just turn upside down and play dead. When the cats lose interest the roach flips over and heads back to his business. The cats hunt down a few of them a night. Picking up "roaches" in the morning has taken on a new meaning around our house! They are not house roaches, they are the larger variety. I'd call them sewer roaches. In Florida they avoid the usage of the word roach at all, they are called palmettas.

One night I found the cats surrounding a small snake. The snake was found the same day that a swim student's mom thought she saw a big snake under our bodega. Well, we cemented up the hole. He dug another one. I doubt a snake did that, but whatever was living under the bodega has since moved. We think it was a zorro, or possum. We do have a sneaky possum around here. The snake was much smaller than this earthworm I found the other day in the garden.

As a kid I loved to hunt for nightcrawlers with my dad, so I figured I would show you how big the earthworms are here. Just so you know, the snake was not even half this size.

Last night the kitties brought me this scorpion.

That is my writing pen next to it for size, and of course it is covered in cat hair. By the looks of Mokito's eyes all gooned out, I am guessing he made the kill and was probably stung. The good news is that the scorpions in this area are not highly toxic, and the larger the less toxic. When I lived in Akumal I accidentally stepped on a Mama red scorpion as she was giving birth to at least 50 little toxic buggers and I got stung. I almost jumped through the roof. The pain was horrible, much like a portuguese-man-of-war or box jellyfish sting; it makes your entire body hurt.

I can't wait to see what animalitos the rainy season washes out of their hiding places. I am sure the cats will provide more fodder for another creature feature in the future.


Islagringo said...

In almost 6 years of living in this house, we have only seen 3 scorpions....thank Dios! My cats love to bring in those little lizards. Say, did your cat ever come down from the wall? LOL!

Linda Dorton said...

Finally. Yesterday he brought a gecko that had a little "fight" left in him...Lorenza came up, picked up the gecko, awaiting a grown from the hunter, and he just looked at her with those adorable blue eyes and said, "I brought him for you."

Linda Dorton said...

aw sh#t. meant GROWL