Monday, September 2, 2013

Creepies and Crawlies and Sugar and Spice

When I very first moved to the island, and learned that I am not the only person on the island that attracts bugs like Bees on Chicken, I was relieved to learn I was not alone.  (When I visited on vacation, I got mauled by sand flies because I was clueless to the fact they could bite you without you even feeling it.  I looked like a freak for weeks after, and EVERYONE was kind enough to point it out to me, as if I didn't realize my body itched like I had rolled in Poison Ivy and blackberry bushes at the same time.  ARGH!)

One of my new girlfriends reminded me 'just remember, you are living in their world, they are not living in yours'.  And she's right.  When you make your home in the jungle, there is no exterminating all god's creatures.  It's just not possible.  If they could, they would probably exterminate humans, but (hopefully) that's not possible either.  So we learn to co-habitate. 

For the first couple of weeks, it took awhile to get used to the Geckos that live inside the house.  It's simply not a natural thing to most of us, to walk into a room, and see a gecko scampering across the wall.  Or lie in bed at night and hear them 'chirp' back and forth to one another.  Over time, you get used to the little guys scampering about, and you appreciate them for eating other bugs and things they find. (but not so much the little droppings they leave wherever they please!) They're curious little buggers too.  For months after I moved into the house I live in now, I would sit at the kitchen table and work, and every single day the same little Gecko would creep into the window sill, or up the screen and peer in at me.  Her name is Lily.  When people come over to the house, one of the first things they do is walk over to the window and call for her to come say hi.  I love it.

This is the smallest Gecko I've ever seen.  He is standing next to my sunglasses, and the cross he is next to is less than a 1/4" long.

From time to time, you can expect to cross paths with a Cockroach or two.  In one case, I walked into a dark room and flipped on the light just as a cockroach was crossing MY path... right over the top of my foot.  YUCK!  I hate them.  They are pointless and disgusting little crunchy creatures.  I will admit, I feel sorry for them, because I'm fairly confident that they are not liked by ANYTHING or ANYONE.

The other day my friend Avi told me a story about millions of Ants that invaded his front porch, to the point he feared they were going to carry away his porch furniture!  Now, Avi certainly is a storyteller, a very good one, but one thing he is not is a liar.  Since then, I've listened to him explain this ant invasion to others, and they know exactly what it is, and how mind blowing it is to see this many ants in one place.  Every one's response is the same... 'They're cleaner ants.  Just let them do their thing, and they will leave after a few days'.  They come through in a serious Army, and 'clean' and then they leave.  All I can picture is Avi crawling out the bathroom window every morning to go to work while he had 'guests'.  Ha ha ha!

About a week ago, I was walking down my path to the road one evening after dark, when I felt the distinct feeling of something slimy wrap one arm/leg around my ankle, and then another as I began shaking my leg vigorously in the air while balancing on the other.  I saw the little bugger fly and land on the walk, but as I took a few steps back and rummaged for my cell phone to shine a light and see what it was, it disappeared.  Eeeeewww!  When I arrived to meet my friend Krystal, my heart was still pounding, and I was checking my ankle in the low light, to see if there were any skin reactions slime left on my leg.  The men laughed, telling me it was a wet leaf that probably flipped up from my shoe or something.  But I could not forget the distinct feeling of the slimy body applying itself to my skin, one leg at a time.  The next night, on my walk home, this little guy lept into the lit area of the path, so I took his picture to prove to those guys I know what I felt!   Bleh!
The 'wet leaf' perpetrator

I could go on, and in fact the most recent encounter, with a spider the size of a tarantula, was probably one of the worst yet.  That guy escaped before I could return with the Raid can, and had me jumping from my own shadow the entire rest of the day!  Or this playful little guy that was playing hide and seek with me while I waited for the bus this afternoon.  He was just as curious as I was, and peered at me as I peered back and snapped a quick pic. 

So far, the best of all, has been the MILLIONS of Swallowtail Moths passing through the island as they migrate south, in search of a new food source.  They are called Green Urania Swallowtail moths and they have mass migrations once every 5 years or so. They range from Mexico through Central America & northern South America.  I found myself looking for excuses to take a walk or head to the beach, just to watch these rather large butterflies sway about in the morning and afternoon breeze.  The swarms have passed now, although there are certainly 100's of stragglers, who must have been enjoying the night life a bit too much!  

The moral of the story... Well, I suppose if you can't beat em, enjoy em!  (errr, most of them anyway)


  1. Yep, I've pretty much given up too. Those moths are all over at my work right now...SO pretty! I feel like I'm in a fairytale with butterflies all around me...for 5 minutes until I realize I'm sweating profusely and lugging tanks down a dock.

  2. Rika you just made me burst out laughing aloud! But hey, who would have thought you'd be sweating profusely and lugging tanks, among magical butterflies in PARADISE??? Glad you're back, the island missed you!

  3. Replies
    1. I know! Who knew they had stripes when they're born? I'm pretty sure he was just born. Even his skin is loose & wrinkly!