Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Don't read this post......

....if you are squeamish about bugs

This time of year is wonderful as the rains start and Zambia comes back to life--the trees and grass turn green. The mangoes begin to ripen. There are piles of pineapples at the market. Good times!

Of course other things are coming to life as well.

All the flying termites are emerging from their underground homes and fluttering around.

Our windows are screened but that doesn't do us a whole lot of good as you can see below. These pictures were taken in our living room.

This is one of my walls. It is actually light green. I don't know why it looks white.

See all those dots--all bugs!

I've zoomed in for your viewing pleasure.

All of those dots are termites.

They fly around and dive bomb our food.

They land on our necks and get tangled in our hair.

Then by the next morning they have all landed and lost their wings.

Those wings are tiny and so thin. Pretty nearly impossible to sweep up.

So, where are the bugs?

They are there on the ground crawling around.

Now they are easy pickings for people who are looking for a high protein snack.

The villagers cluster around our fence line because they know our security lights have attracted plenty of bugs. Our gardener kept shouting at the children to stop reaching inside the fence but I knew that was just because he wanted more for himself.

Aside from the happy children we have another ally in the fight against flying bugs.

Would you like to meet him?

Are you sure?

Ok, here he is:

Meet Mr. Imperial Scorpion

A biologist recently told me that these are super predators and knowing how well God's creation works I believe it. Just when we are inundated with bugs these little huge guys show up.

We really only have to deal with them for about two months out of the year but that is more than enough for me. Those of you who know me well know that a house spider can turn me into a quivering mass of jelly--these are basically spiders on steroids!

In this photo you can see the size. The large size is actually comforting (yeah right) because the smaller a scorpion is the more dangerous. If these suckers stung you it would be painful and most likely would continue to hurt for weeks or months but it wouldn't be life threatening.

I got these photos online because I was too lazy to go boot up Tom's computer. He does have a bunch of photos on our website where you can see his Creatures of Zambia. He took all of them--these are not stock photos but representative of our actual experiences.

Two years ago Tom and the kids collected 35 of the scorpions and put them in a fish tank. It was pretty much my worst nightmare! I had to walk past them all the time since the tank was kept next to my bedroom!

Next time on Amy's National Geographic World we'll talk about mayflies. Oh, exciting!

Until then may God bless and keep you on your own personal adventures.



1 comment:

  1. We had those flying termites in Puerto Rico, too. They really set off my gag reflex, the way they wiggle around after their wings fall off. No one was snacking on them though, at least to my knowledge!

    Our "favourite" bug memories involve the large cockroaches--the first one we saw, which had us all on our chairs during our first meal there as it scurried under the table, and the one that jumped out of a kitchen drawer onto my husband's bare chest as he was searching for something. Then there were the poisonous centipedes, the tarantulas, the little lizards that were everywhere--including hanging off the ears of little boys aiming to make little girls scream--and the tree frogs that were so loud at night it took us a long time to get used to them, and then we hardly noticed until we had an uninitiated visitor.

    Good times, good times. Thanks for sparking a trip down memory lane!


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