Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bugs in Liberia...

Well, we are learning that things are different here in Africa. Back in California, butterflies are happy little creatures, flitting blissfully from flower to flower. Here, the butterflies are scary, the praying mantis's look like they have been taking steroids, and the beetles have claws and seem rather aggressive!
The butterfly in the picture was hanging out around a neighbor's front door. I guess the snakes on it's back are part of it's natural security system, as it's predators will think it is a snake and leave it alone. Worked for me; I left it alone! I do feel rather badly for the butterfly, though. How sad to go through life with bad tattoos, just for protection. Just doesn't seem fair. Even the life of a butterfly is hard here.
The bodies of the African praying mantis are about 6 inches long. Add the length of their spindly legs to that number, and you have a formidable bug. Not a big fan of any bug, but large, formidable ones kind of creep me out!
Which reminds me of the beetle that stalked me yesterday morning. It was waiting for me in the dining hall. As I walked around unlocking doors, it followed me. No matter where I walked in the large dining hall, he was scurrying toward me. I would walk behind him (wa-a-ay behind him) and he would turn around and head right toward me again. Creepy! Straight out of a Stephen King movie. All I can figure is that the fella' could sense fear, and knew it was a sign of weakness. He was going for the big kill! Man, I do not need to end up as a trophy on some beetle's rec room wall! And people wonder why I walk around with a can of bug spray!
Wishing all who read this a wonderful, bug-free day!