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.