I am currently available as a freelance Senior Perl Programmer. Download my up-to-date resume (PDF)
John Bokma MexIT
freelance Perl programmer

Creepy Crawlies time

Sunday, April 27, 2008 | 0 comments

Read the first part of our hike in Rafael Delgado and beyond.

A peach tree with fruit.
A peach tree with fruit.

We spotted a peach tree to the left of the track we were following, and I took a photo of it. A little later, while I was looking up at the trunk of a tree, Esme spotted a bee's nest. While she, carrying Alice, walked a bit away, I carefully moved closer to take a photo or two.

A bee's nest glued to a tree.
A bee's nest glued to a tree.

But somehow I disturbed the bees and I had to make a few steps back very fast. A few bees kept buzzing close to me, so I backed off more. One bee kept quite close to me, and another had landed on my arm. I had no idea if it was going to sting me, but because it was so small it got stuck into the hairs on my arm. I moved away further from the nest, to get rid of number one, and then blew number two off my arm.

Because I was not sure if the two photos I had managed to make were good, I wanted to give it one more try - everything to keep this blog interesting. So I waited a few more minutes, and slowly moved closer to the bee's nest, staying behind the tree it was built on as much as possible. Then I moved the camera close to the nest, pressed the shutter button, and moved away from the nest. But sadly, the photo was not better than the other two I made.

A juvenile tarantula spider.
A juvenile tarantula spider.

We continued our walk, and I kept looking to the left and the right for stones or pieces of wood to look under. When I rolled over a large flat stone to the left of the track I saw a small tarantula, most likely a juvenile.

Esme and Alice sitting next to a tarantula habitat.
Esme and Alice sitting next to a tarantula habitat.

We have been walking near to Orizaba several times before, but this was the first time I found a tarantula spider. After I had taken several photos, I also took a photo of the direct habitat, while Esme was sitting next to it, on a tree root, holding Alice.

We continued our walk for a while, and after some time decided to go back. We wanted to be back in Orizaba on time because we had already bought tickets for the bus back to Xalapa. On the way back I looked under a large stone, and saw a salamander. This kind of salamander is called tlaconete by the people I know in Mexico. The name comes from tlalconetl (Náhuatl), which means literally "child of the earth" (or "child of the soil"): a combination of tlalli (ground, soil) and conetl (child). Other names are babosa or caracol de tierra (ground snail).

Salamander "Tlaconete" and its microhabitat.
Salamander "Tlaconete" and its microhabitat.

Despite the beautiful name, child of the earth, this animal is a victim of superstition. A story I've heard several times is that the animal climbs up the leg of youngs girl and enters her vagina. In my experience this story is even taken serious by people who should know better, and even scares boys sufficiently enough to make them squeeze their buttocks close together when they see a tlaconete.

Salamander "Tlaconete" on a moss covered stone.
Salamander "Tlaconete" on a moss covered stone.

Before I rolled the large stone back in its place, I carefully lifted the salamander, and put it on top of a nearby moss covered stone. To make some nice photos, but also to move the animal out of the way. I am always very careful not to accidentally crush animals when I move a stone back into its place. After a few photos I moved the stone back in its place, and with great care placed the salamander on the ground next to the stone so it could crawl back into hiding.

After some walking we arrived back in Rafael Delgado, and got on a bus which after a short break headed for Orizaba. Back in Orizaba we walked for a while, looking for a nice place to eat, and settled for "Dany's Pizza & Sushi", a place where we had eaten before some time ago.

Alice playing with wax crayons at "Dany's Pizza & Sushi".
Alice playing with wax crayons at "Dany's Pizza & Sushi".

After an excellent meal we went back to hotel "Mediterráneo" to pick up the rest of our luggage. After we had refreshed ourselves a little, we walked to the bus station. After some waiting our bus finally arrived and we were back on our way home.

Also today

Please post a comment | read 0 comments | RSS feed