June 28, 2006

6-27 Big, creepy bug blogging

I remember that when I was small and freaked out about some insect, my mom would tell me that the bug was more afraid of me than I was of it. Mom, those bugs donít live here. For example, thereís the green leaf-looking bug that made itself at home on my stacked jeans. It didnít budge an inch when I took its picture, though it had moved to another part of the room by the next morning. Positively unflappable.

The green roommate, Costa Rica, 6-26-06. Ė natasha

The brown roommate, Costa Rica, 6-27-06. Ė natashaTuesday night, there was yet another roommate. It was a little more skittish than the green one, but not so youíd have a hard time getting a snap. You might wonder if seeing these in my room still makes it difficult to turn out the lights to sleep, and at first that was the case. But even though the bugs that hang around the house at night can be larger and stranger looking than the afternoon brigades that you find out and about, they donít bite. Itís the little bastiches that look pretty much like the biting insects you run across during a temperate zone summer that do the damage, so for them I reserve all of my loathing. Also, the longer the light is on after a certain time of night, the more insects congregate. Itís really the most effective thing Iíve ever found to force a reasonable bedtime, sort of like a reverse alarm clock.

This next thing, whose body is well over an inch long, is called el miedoso locally. It was discovered in a cupboard at a nearby farm I visited Monday. El miedoso had the gall not to sit still for a picture and scurried off behind a pot. I shook the pot a bit to get it to come out and accidentally bopped it against the wall. I moved the pot away to find it perfectly still on the back wall of the cupboard. Granted, there are many circumstances under which I might have just killed it, but taking a picture seems an inadequate reason. I took the picture anyway, it didnít really look damaged, only to turn around a couple minutes later to see it scurrying off along the wall.

El miedoso, Costa Rica, 6-26-06. Ė natasha

If youíre a temperate zone resident who's just jealous as all get out that Iím getting to see such wicked cool bugs in person and you arenít, just wait. If nothing is done about global warming, youíre either going to get frozen out and have to move south or a warming local climate will bring the big, creepy bugs right to your door. Where the weather is warm all the time, plants can comfortably grow big, semi-permanent leaves that donít have to deal with the frost question and bugs can hang around all year, with plenty of decaying material around in the constant warmth to support the metabolism of many larger insects. So thanks to, for example, the Bush administration, el miedoso or one of its cousins may well be on its way to an area near you. And no stupid border fence will stop it.

Lastly, my camera has obviously been a frequent companion since I unpacked the densely stuffed bag it ended up at the bottom of last Friday. Itís been doing a pretty good job and even survived falling in the mud the other day when I slipped on a steep bank. Having been warned far in advance about the humidity and rain, I managed to beg and borrow a while ago for a Pentax Optio W10. Itís rated waterproof at somewhere around a meter under water, even has an underwater photo mode. It also takes decent close-ups, as you can see. The view screen is a good size, though I could perhaps wish that there was some cover to protect the front lens, which I worry about just a bit. Anyway, Iíd recommend it if you were going to or living in a place where your camera was at risk of getting soaked. Itís probably about as good as youíre going to get without approaching an insanely expensive class of equipment, but do look around for a discount anyway, of course.

Posted by natasha at June 28, 2006 05:54 PM | Costa Rica | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

Enough to make the skin crawl. I'm a bug weenie and avoid camping for that reason. These photos scream "get me mosquito netting to cover my bed pronto!"

Posted by: Daniel K at June 29, 2006 07:56 PM

My Dad did postgraduate work at Oklahoma State University. I was 12 then.

Wolf spiders the size my adult hand and very, very strong admonitions to never, ever, have potatoes in our married student housing unit. (Found out why at a neighbors.)

And we won't talk about what attracted the lights on our ceiling.

More than enough for me, thank you.

Posted by: palamedes at June 30, 2006 07:49 PM