Monday, February 15, 2010

Trouble In Paradise

It's not all rainbows and whales and fresh coconut milk out here. It's rural. It's tropical. And creepy crawlies are everywhere. The good news is, there are no snakes on any of the Hawaiian islands. But there are other creepy crawlies.

Let's start with the nice ones. Geckos. Geckos EVERYWHERE. They're cute. Zach loves to watch them, catch them, and carry them around.
He learned the hard way that they drop their tales when they think something's got them. And at night they chirp and chirp and chrip. "They're saying good night," says the boy. They're making a racket thinks the mama. And thank goodness for the net over our bed in the shed where we sleep, because they POOP EVERYWHERE. Each morning I wake and look at all of the gecko poop the net saved us from wearing. Our last trip here, I awoke to find hacted gecko eggs in my hair. Yes, a sleeping net is a good thing.
Then there are the poisonous centipedes. I was sitting on the porch reading when Zach came running up to me breathless asking for his bug box. Here it is honey, what did you find? "I don't know. It's like a giant worm but it's bright greeny-orangey and has like a million legs! It's so cool, I'll bring it to you." Noooooooooooooo! Don't touch it! That was close.

These little crab spiders (actually proper name is Asian Spiny Back spider) don't seem so scary, but they are insanely industrious builders. I wasn't able to catch it with my camera, but their webs stretch between any and all paralelle trees and seriously go up for 30 or more feet. It's not the high webs that get ya though. It's the low ones everywhere that you walk into and then furiously pull out of your nose and mouth and hair. It's now become Zach's job to walk the yard each morning with a long bamboo stick and clear the main paths of the crab spider webs.

But a stick was no match for our unwanted roommate. Ok, technically a cane spider won't hurt you, and they are even supposed to be shy around people, but would you want to room with this guy?
That's a big, fat NO. He had about a 6+ inch wing span and a wife. She had a big, juicy, egg sac hanging from her underside and was lingering in our bathroom. Game over. We called in Grandpa to evict the leggy family to the great outdoors.

That's life in the tropics. For every rainbow, there are 500 cockroaches (they don't even phase me anymore). For every whale breach, there's a swarm of centipedes. For every fresh coconut, there's a man-hand sized spider. It's the balance of nature.

Oh how I love our sleeping net.


eringoodman said...

have i told you lately how much i am loving following along your your adventures???

seriously. i am learning so much and i just adore your writing and photos.


Kate said...

That spider. SHOCKING! If my husband ever finds this post and sees that spider, his arachnophobic self will NEVER let us go to Hawaii.

Shanda said...

Wow! That spider is shocking to say the least. I wonder what my son (who is now in a defend all spiders stage after reading Charlotte's Web) would do??? I've been enjoying your wonderful Island Adventures by the way, thanks.

Red Charlotte said...

You are soooo brave. My friend in Hawaii tell me about the biting centipedes. Just freaks me out.

Little Lovables said...

How joyous!! The "juicy" egg sac almost made me vomit.

Funny to think that here, bed nets are for looks and princess rooms, but they are made for an actual reason.

I remember one time, driving to the airport (in Texas no less), and I swear a hand was running across the road. I screamed and swerved... so insane, it was a giant spider.

Stuff On My Blog said...

Well, I feel right at home now LOL. That spider looks a lot like one of our 'huntsman' spiders.. they are nefarious creatures. You're a kinder soul than I just evicting them LOL.

Beth said...

Thanks for the chuckles! And I think it is funny Grandpa has to come get the spider and your son has to wave away the spider webs in the yard. He is learning his proper critter control role at a young age. Beth

boatbaby said...

erin - gosh thank you! That means so much to me, especially coming from you!

Kate - yes, shocking is the word. they are sort of hrd to avoid out here so if you want a hawaiian vacation, mums the word on the spiders!

Thanks Shanda! My son also is the saver of all bugs. He WAS scared of these guys, but didn't want us to hurt them.

Charlotte - I haven't come face to face with a centipede yet. I think it might send me over the edge. Must read The Sex Lives Of Cannibals for a hilarious take on tropical centipedes.

Lisa - almost mamde ME vomit! Imagine a face off between a Texas spider and a tropical spider. Eeek!

Stuff - yes, same critter, local name. I don't think I am kinder, I just didn't think my odds of making a dent in him were very good. Plus Zach was looking out for him.

Beth - My dad won't let me hear the end of it. "You're a grown woman and you still come running to daddy to get the spiders?!?!"

Cam said...

You know I am totally creeped out, right? I'm sitting here knocking imaginary bugs off my skin. Every little tickle, I'm sure it's a centipede.

If I saw a spider like that, we would be sailing out in a nanosecond. I am serious.

I mean, how are you dealing with that? And, geckos drop their tails? What?

My birthday is Pearl Harbor Day, and I've always wanted to visit there, but you know, maybe not. I don't need to see things like that. A crab-spider? How did that happen? Darwin dropped the ball there.

Leaves and Feathers said...

Wow, I am having flashbacks to my time in Hawaii just looking at these photos. specially on the big island we encountered those huge spiders. One place we stayed I could hardly sleep, they were everywhere. Thanks for reminding me of them, because I have been so longing for Hawaii as I've been following along on your journey (especially as the snow is falling here), so it is good to think of the things that make my skin crawl there! :)

barefoot in gitchigumee said...

eeekkk! okay really, i am itching all over! stay wrapped up tight in your net;)

Masasa said...

Reading your post made ME thankful for your sleeping net too. And I have a good stomach for creepy crawlies!

mary said...

um, are you kidding me? that spider? the egg sac? oh... I also have had many buggy experiences there- no details from me... I have sooo been loving your adventures as well... have you moved there for good? :) the ducks and the chicks... oh, be still my heart... OK, haven't commented in a while but really love all of your postings and photos... xo, Mary

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