September 2, 2011
My guides quickly learned that I did not like spiders and to not point them out to me as we canoed on the river. One night at dinner my guides were talking to each other in Spanish about a large tarantula that was apparently just next to my boat for a very long time while I was photographing two Jacamar birds hunting for insects. He luckily refrained from telling me then or I would have probably tipped the boat! My Spanish isn’t great, but I understood the word tarantula and was freaked out for the rest of the evening.
The scorpion in my room was a pretty frightening experience too and it was definitely a moment where I realized how fear can play tricks on you. It was very early in the morning and I was getting ready for our morning excursion and as I walked to my bathroom a scorpion jumped out onto me (probably crawled, but felt like it jumped) from behind my light switch. I promptly shook it off not even seeing what it was. When it hit the floor I screamed and as I was barefoot I quickly backed away from it. I through a towel on top of it and ran up to the main lodge asking for help saying it was a GIGANTIC scorpion. The staff came with special tongs to remove it and brought out this tiny scorpion that they said was under the towel I through down. They asked me if there was another one because this one was so tiny- had I seen a larger one too? Sadly I told them no and that my mind must have been playing tricks on me because it seemed so large before! Later I learned that smaller scorpions are in fact more poisonous so it would have been better to be a larger one, but I wasn’t stung and as always, all is well.
I didn’t get any pictures of the creepy crawlies I detest like scorpions and spiders, but I got a few pictures to share with you of other interesting insects like butterflies, leaf cutter ants, grasshoppers and some amazing caterpillars. After Gomantong Cave in Borneo I am not the biggest fan of bats, but here I really liked seeing them because they eat the bad bugs! It was cool to watch them swoop down over the water at night eating the bugs along the surface.