Wednesday, March 02, 2011

down by the old tropical stream

Today was supposed to be the start of my tales from Mexico City.

I had the first installment all queued up.  After all, you have had three days of appetizers from the Guadalajara airport.

But this is a current events blog.  At least, current events for me.

Having recovered enough from my "intestinal disorder," I have started venturing away from the hammock -- in short bursts.  One of my first tasks was to rejoin the battle against the leaf cutter ants. 

The other night I hit them with a powder that wiped out quite a few.  The nests on the malecon look like the trenches of Verdun.

But they keep coming.  I found two new nests inside the perimeter tonight.  But my main concern was checking out the activity on the malecon.  There is a garden out there they love to attack.

Sure enough, the ants had returned in force.  While battling away, I ran across two unexpected animals.

I guess the first is not so unexpected, you have met it before in pass the buck fever.  It was out looking for an ant sandwich, and seemed to be a bit disturbed that the only ants it found were piles of carcasses.  (You can see the fruits of the slaughter in the background.)

But I think I have now answered the mystery of the snake's identity.  Because the yellow bands do not touch the red, this fellow is not a coral snake.  I have no idea what species it is.  But I have somewhat confident what it is not.

Unfortunately, the fact that it is perfectly harmless (and, more than that, helpful), will not lengthen its life span.  It lives in an area where it can be spotted easily.  And it will soon be large enough that most maguey will not provide adequate cover.

That is too bad.  But we live by the code of "bruised heel, bruised head" around here.

But my friend the snake was not alone.  I found the trail of ants and started dusting them.  Until I nearly put my hand down on this nasty fellow.  The small claws are a dead giveaway that you do not want to be stung by this little beauty.

In the two years I have lived here, this is the first scorpion I have seen on the prowl outside.  (I have seen two inside my apartment, and I guess that should be a little more disturbing.)

This guy did not get a pass.  I could have left him be, but I had no desire to be gardening one afternoon and discover his little day-time hiding place.

Having dispatched the scorpion, shown grace to the snake, and nuked the ants, I was ready to head to bed.  I said good-night to my pal the crocodile, whose red eye in the laguna was watching my antics -- and headed to bed.

Now, wasn't that better than a trip to the city?

Either way, you will get to hear both tales. 

Mexico City calls tomorrow.


sparks said...

Ya Think?

Felipe Zapata said...

Up here at altitude, we don't have to worry about such stuff.

Steve Cotton said...

But they do add a dash of color to what would be otherwise boring evenings. Who needs museums with the prospect of scorpions?

Steve Cotton said...

The only thing that gives me pause is the black head. But there are non-Coral snakes that come with an ebony bonnet. The lack of yellow band touching red band is the best clue -- I think.

tancho said...

Next thing you are going to mention about your beachfront paradise has bugs and mosquitoes......
Having seen too many flicks from the 40's and 50's where the victim has scorpions placed into their rooms, you know the rooms where all the doors are white louvers, in the middle of room is a creaky wobbly old fan, all the while the occupant is trying to cool himself off, without the slightest notion of any breeze, someone is slipping a few scorpions into their shoes or other places where the mark will either slip his hand in.... All the while there are a few other people palming a white handkerchief which now appears to be drenched in their sweat, sitting at the bar downstairs, waiting for something, anything to happen..

That is the image I expound on in your surroundings.

Probably the main reason we are up in the cool mountains.....

Sorry for the phobia...probably too much imagination caused by a need to remove myself from the horrible realities of being mentally abused, growing up without any video games and color tv, being punished by having to go outside and play in the fresh know the rest.

Steve Cotton said...

Step by step, you are turning me into Sydney Greenstreet. And I think I like the role.

juanfibarra said...

It seems to be a Mexican Milk Snake:



Steve Cotton said...

You may be correct. I just hope it survives.

brenda said...

scarlet king snake???

Trinidad Garcia said...

YIKES!!! I haven't seen any Scorpions in Nayarit just a lot of iguanas, frogs and geckos. In Zacatecas, where my dad is from, they are virtually invisible because they blend so well with the rocks and dirt. I have been lucky quite a few times to just miss getting stung.

Steve Cotton said...

My original thought. But the head is the wrong color.

Steve Cotton said...

Nasty little beasts they are.

Kim G said...

In U.S. iconography, hell is inhabited by bats. In Mexican iconography it is inhabited by scorpions.

I think the Mexican version is more scary.

Please mind the scorpions. We want to keep reading your blog.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we are wondering, "When oh when do the posts on Mexico City come?" You and I have both been away from there for nearly two weeks.

Steve Cotton said...

I have been having trouble getting into a writing mood with my stomach problems. But, they are on the way -- the posts, that is.

guest said...

Wow why can't you leave the nature alone - shows your character that you think you are far more superior than innocent wildlife.