Sunday, September 18, 2011

Whip Scorpion

Our house has lots of stairs and two consecutive stairs are rarely the same size. Each morning as my alarm jolts me out of bed and I work my way down four flights of stairs as Audrey excitedly bounces around, I feel success if I make it to the bottom without a slip, trip or fall. Recently, I arrived at the bottom and turned on the light to find a whip scorpion hanging out in the kitchen. Happy to have made it down the stairs, I'm relieved though often still half-asleep. Scorpions are not the first thing I want to see in the early hours.

The first one was large and after a short conversation mediated by a broom, it disappeared. The next morning, a much smaller one turned Audrey's water bowl!

From Random Taichung

From what we've read, these scorpions are not dangerous to people. Instead of a menacing stinger, a thin whip-like appendage extends from its rear. They are supposed to be able to squirt acid out of the whip which can be irritating though painful for an animal if received in the eyes. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grasshoppers on the afternoon walk

One of the perks of living where we do is that we can entirely avoid the city on most days. When we finally leave work after school, we scooter with our back to the city as we wind up the hill to our home. Excitedly waiting for her afternoon walk, Audrey is ready to pounce as soon as the door opens. We quickly head back out the door to walk on the roads near our house. With the "jungle" encroaching at every possible point, it is rare that we finish a walk without some encounter with other life forms. The scariest so far was the cobra on the trail last June. One of the coolest, was a few weeks ago when we came across a moth larger than the width of my hand. Where, oh where was the camera?

Recently, large grasshoppers flutter everywhere and Audrey seems to enjoy interacting with them (I'm not so sure what the grasshoppers think...)

The encounter

From Random Taichung

The grasshopper

From Random Taichung


From Random Taichung

Another creepy-crawly encounter