Saturday, December 28, 2013

Spiders & Scorpions & Snakes, OH MY!

Let me start by saying, we had a beautiful Christmas Day here in Atenas, Costa Rica, with picture perfect weather, blue skies and cool breezes. My wonderful husband, Matt, fried a gorgeous turkey (pavo in espaƱol) and we enjoyed traditional American cuisine of herbed cornbread dressing, green bean casserole and fresh cranberry sauce. To our delight, our friends brought over some tamales, a Costa Rican tradition, which made the plate much more exciting, paired with some quick, fresh-made pico de gallo salsa, a specialty of mine. 
We have absolutely enjoyed the dry season here in Costa Rica thus far; however, we have noticed a few changes as well as a few extra visitors. We have been in the country for over 8 months now and the rainy season and humidity flew away with the strong breezes, leaving some thirsty critters in place of the clouds. While we had plenty of flies, moths, butterflies and even a hummingbird or two trapped in the house, we never expected such an influx of spiders, scorpions and snakes.  Now if you have been reading our blog, you remember the 12' boa we saw not too long ago, but he did not move so fast and definitely will not be coming in our house! In the last month, we have seen 4 huge scorpions and 1 small one, ranging from red to black, and let me tell you, these things move fast, across the floor, tails raised high, in attack mode! I spilled my coffee this morning trying to get out of the way. 
So after much due diligence and internet research, we feel like scorpion experts and are at ease knowing that of all 14 scorpion species in Costa Rica, none of them are deadly, most of them only delivering a bee sting type wound. Geez, thank goodness, I mean we have a 2 & 4 yr old and a new baby girl due in 6 weeks! So not to be underdone, what happened last night? I was, as usual, pregnant waddling to my bed, cheesecake in hand and nearly brushed shoulders with the largest spider I have ever seen, hanging out on the wall next to my bed! I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest, as I ran, at 8 1/2 months pregnant down the hall screaming (quietly, if at all possible, as to not wake the kids), at my husband. "Matt, there is a F*&#ING tarantula in the bedroom!" Now, since we live in Costa Rica, he knows I am probably not exaggerating; however, he was also astonished at the size of this thing. Please excuse my terrible picture, but I was shaking because all I could think about was this thing crawling in bed with me, or my kids! He was big enough to ride horseback on my dog!
So, needless to say, and don't tell those people, but our spider friend met the shoe, since we did not want to give it time to hide. After getting rid of the arachnoid, we followed up with the normal internet research to educate our experience and I still do not know what he was, although I suspect a wolf spider or a wandering Brazil spider, but not certain of either. What I do know, is we had more venomous spiders in Texas, being the brown recluse and the black widow, they just were not this big, nor on the wall beside my bed and their fingers are not longer than mine! So, I hope I have not offended all the spider lovers out there, since there are a million pictures on the internet of people holding these things, but this pregnant lady is not taking any chances. Matt went through the house, closing all the windows and cutting off the cool breezes we have been enjoying. After speaking with our neighbors and friends, they all say the same thing. Everybody is thirsty. We live in a place where it rains, consistently for 5-6 months a year, then it stops. No rain for 7-8 months in some cases, so these insects, animals, birds, reptiles and whatever else might visit are thirsty. This morning we turned on the sprinkler system and hopefully they can find water just outside the house and not come in for a visit! 

1 comment:

  1. Oh my. Both of those creatures look huge! How many inches was that scorpion anyway?


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