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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Snakes, Poisonous Caterpillars and a Refrigerator

Last week, just outside our front gate, we saw a dead terciopelo or fer-de-lance. I guess it was run over by a car. This venomous pit viper is considered the most dangerous snake in Costa Rica. This is a good reminder that jungle wildlife is not so far away from us and we should not become complacent.

In the poisonous insect world, we were invaded by saddleback caterpillars. Here they are chowing down on palm leaves:

Don’t touch!!! Those spikes are urticating hair which can cause some painful skin irritations like burns. They are the caterpillars of a dark brown/beige/black kind of boring looking moth. They're called Saddleback caterpillars for obvious reasons (quote from Claudia).

Acharia stimulae

Thank you, Claudia Leon (my protozoologist friend) and my husband Lance for identifying these creatures for me. One thing we have learned by living in the tropics is ..... don't touch anything! There is even a tree that is dangerous - the machineel tree. When we visited Isla Tortuga, our guide pointed out a machineel tree and told us to stay far away from it.

Now onto inanimate objects that are not poisonous but could be harmful - in this case a refrigerator. A couple of years ago our neighbours Rose Mary and Tony gave us a refrigerator they no longer used. Our refrigerator is quite small so it was nice to have a full size one, at least for a while. It eventually broke down, wasn't worth repairing and I started using it as a pantry. Our kitchen is small so it was nice to have extra storage space.

This week, the bottom door fell off and then the top. Fortunately, neither of us nor our cat were nearby because those doors are heavy. I couldn't stop laughing, it was really funny. We were going to get rid of it but then I decided to keep it, minus the doors, paint it a dark red and it will be an unusual, quirky pantry. I've removed the ice cube maker and have started sanding the sides.

Here's the refrigerator with the fallen doors, Lance holding the freezer door: