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Archive for January, 2013

The Golden Orb Weaver

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The female is one of the largest species of spider in Central America.  The males are super tiny in comparison, like, I thought they were her babies tiny, and several of them are often found hanging out on her web sharing her food supply.  Cool fact: The oldest fossil of spider unearthed (about 165 million years ago) belongs to the golden orb weaver family.  They’re actually very beautiful, and not considered dangerous to humans, though I don’t see myself picking one up any time soon. :)

 

It was a rough day for reptiles.

 First, the snake (see previous post), then,  James the gecko.

You know Jingle, the kitten that isn’t ours, that we feed, and love, and snuggle?!  Yeah, that one.  Well, here in Costa Rica the cat and mouse game is more often played with lizards.  There’s a gazillion geckos here.  I love it because they eat everything I don’t like.  I hardly ever see insects in my house, spiders are a rare sight, and I thank the geckos for that.  They work tirelessly to keep me happy.  I compensate them by supporting their efforts and letting them stay in the house whenever they want, even when it scares the bejezus out of me.   Like the other morning when I was sitting innocently on the toilet with crusty, half open eyes and caught a glimpse of one speeding across the wall just ten inches from my face.  I jumped up, panties down, and ran screaming out of my bedroom, but still… I let him stay.

Anyway.  James.  The cat tore the skin off of half of his body.  Sera was watching in horror.  She swooped him up and immediately had that primal maternal twinkle in her eye.  The healing ritual was about to begin, eight year old style.  First, a comfortable bed and blanket made out of toilet paper.  Then, a borrowed bed from her My Little Pony castle.  Then, a lizard bath.  Then, propped up on a chair next to her so he could watch her play Fusion Frenzy.  He liked that part best, she says.

It was another great opportunity to discuss the wonder of life, and what becomes of it when we’re no longer occupying the body.  Of course, her heart was set on him surviving, so we talked about that, too.  Hours passed.  She brought him with her everywhere.  So patient and full of hope.

She says the other geckos came to visit him while we were sleeping.  “They know he’s here, and they’ll want to see him when we’re not awake.” 

A gazillion geckos at least, but in his time of need, this one was going to get the royal treatment because in the heart of a very sweet little girl, there is no other thing to do.  James was gone before bedtime.

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On the bright side, one of her brothers told her that when James passed a new gecko would likely be born.  This made her happy. Very happy.  And believe it or not, we turn around and right there on the patio wall…

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gecko love.  then this morning, the promise of a gecko baby.

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Headless Snake and Butterfly Rescue

What do they have in common?  my morning. that’s what.

Jason comes in the house yelling for me, which usually means one of two things, someone’s here or he wants my camera.  Him and Julie were out in the yard and found what I think is a harmless brown vine snake.   He decapitated it.  Obviously the highlight of his morning, so I go outside and there it is, dangling from Julie’s hand, headless, and bleeding on my front step.  What’s worse than your kids bringing home a dead snake?  The fact that it was still moving, like, A LOT, and for a long time.  It’s like a car crash, you know?  You want to stop looking, but you can’t…

I come back in the house and notice a couple of Malachite butterflies hanging out in the porch, and I know I’ve got to help them before the dogs find them, plus, there’s something about the act of setting them free that I was hoping would balance out the sorta disturbing previous few minutes of my morning. :P

It worked.

Here I am about to catch and release the first butterfly, but instead I was caught shushing the dogs.

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Oh well, just another day in Costa Rica.  with crazy kids.

 
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