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Rain and a river gone wild

Sunday, June 19, 2005 | 3 comments

Several days ago I had decided that this Sunday we would stay in Xalapa, and have a walk near the house of Esme's mother. There is some kind of forest nearby, and in the past we have seen quite some wildlife there. When we prepared to go, the sky got darker and darker, and when we left the house we could feel the first drops. So we decided to wait an hour and around four we left.

We had to take two buses and a short walk to get there. The sky still looked dark, but at least it was not raining.

Big brown caterpillar, front
Big brown caterpillar, front

After a short walk Esme spotted a big brown caterpillar (about 7 cm) in a tree. When I wanted to take a picture I saw an even bigger green one (about 10 cm).

Big green caterpillar, front
Big green caterpillar, front

Esme said not to touch them, but I couldn't resist, so I touched the green one. The caterpillar shaked violently it's front part of the body. The skin felt very soft, almost like velvet.

Big green caterpillar, side
Big green caterpillar, side

On a small plant nearby were more small caterpillars, but less interesting, so I didn't take a picture.

Big brown caterpillar, side
Big brown caterpillar, side

We walked a bit more. I joked to Esme that today she had to find at least two scorpions, and two snakes. In the past she had seen a green snake there, but I was too late to see it myself back then.

I was hoping to take pictures of stick insects. We had seen several in the past, and once I even took one home. Because back then I couldn't find leaves of the plant it ate nearby, we brought it back. When I put the little animal back where I found it, it kneeled and started too eat like it was famished (which probably was the case). We had a good laugh when we saw that happen.

But before we could find even a stick insect it started to rain very strong. I moved under a big tree and several small ones for cover. Since there was also lightning, Esme didn't consider this a good plan. But the lightning was not even close. We decided to wait a while and next try go to the ruins of an old house nearby. But it didn't look like it was going to rain less, so we decided to walk anyway.

After a short walk all my clothes were wet. We reached the house and I wrung out my shirt. It kept raining but now we had cover. I enjoyed the few of the wet forest, and the smells. Everything looks more green, the trees, the tillandsias clinging to the trees, etc.

We waited for quite some time, and then a police car showed up. We were ordered to leave the place because it was dangerous. We didn't get this at first, but when we went back and saw the bridge we had to cross, and the river, we thought that this might have been the danger the police officer had been warning us about. The police car was standing on the middle, and one officer was taking pictures.

A river gone wild, taken from the bridge
A river gone wild, taken from the bridge

The water moved very fast and violently. Normally when we cross the bridge we have to hold our breath, but this time it didn't smell.

A river gone wild, side view
A river gone wild, side view

Lucky for us the rain finally turned into a drizzle. We decided to pay the nearby plant center a visit. But when we looked around it started to rain again. So we bought two small plants (one cactus) for just 10 pesos, and went back home.

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