February 19, 2008

Life in the tropics: Living with iguanas & geckos & scorpions

LA MANZANILLA, Jalisco, Mexico - We frequently see small green critters darting about the house, usually up on a wall or scooting across the ceiling. They move very quickly, but sometimes just hang in one place, quite still for an hour.

Those guys are the geckos and very good guests to have. Hmm... perhaps they are more like roommates.

Geckos seem to eat all manner of other life - at least life small enough to fit in their mouths. And they are fast - very fast - faster than any insect, I've seen.

A nice house guest to have

Also around the neighborhood are iguanas, big lizardy guys that can be several feet long and look very fierce. In reality, they are very tame and, like their relatively tiny gecko cousins, eat bugs and all manner of things you would prefer not to have around.

Good for them. We would like a few living in the yard (and the trees), but the cats seem to keep them away.

Iguana on wall, La Manzanilla
Iguanas on the wall near Palapa Joe's

No one talks much about either iguanas or geckos, but there is a lot of chatter about scorpions, which are definitely not nice critters, though they are quite shy, too. Scorpions want nothing to do with humans, but, if they feel threatened, they will defend themselves.

And it realllllly hurts, I'm told.

A pissed-off scorpion
One very pissed-off scorpion

Most stings come from people putting their hands into bags or lifting rocks without being careful that something might be lurking within or underneath. The grassy palapa rooftops that are so picturesque on houses here can actually be scorpion condos, if not sprayed or treated properly.

Every night, when our shoes come off, they immediately go up on tables and bags are never left down on the floor. And we have had Casa Lupita sprayed once this season (inside and out) for all manner of insects. Between the cats and the chickens (who come in the yard right after the cats get done eating), we seem to be quite scorpion free.

And we would like to keep it that way, thank you very much.

No comments: