Friday, February 22, 2008

Corwin Wanna Be(s)

We went to the Sailing Club at Tanjung Lesung for the Chinese New Year holiday. One of the things my family loves best about the sailing club is how it allows them to channel their inner Corwin. All the men in my family, from the youngest to the oldest, seem to be suffering from the illusion that they are really wildlife show hosts and should (frequently) catch innocent wildlife to keep their skills up. I swear if you listen closely you can hear the collective wildlife scream as we drive up, "OH NO! NOT THEM! NOT AGAIN!"

Here is a gallery of their latest victims:

The first of many, many toads to be caught, terrorized, and released.

Crabs are the most plentiful wildlife and and so crabs are the most frequently caught wildlife at the sailing club. We transport our beach toys to the club in a large blue plastic tub. The tub doubles as a crab cage. Colin and Alonzo will catch dozens of small sand crabs and dump them in the tub. They will add sand and watch them frantically dig holes to try to hides. They will add shells to decorate the crab house. Then they will dig up all the holes just to see them do it all over again. We have to watch Colin though because he will suddenly decide the whole crab thing is boring and go dig up a really big crab to put in with all the little crabs. Colin is a bit bloodthirsty and really likes to watch the big crab eat his fill of baby crab sushi.

This time there were lots of baby frogs hopping around. They were in every mud puddle in the grassy field between the beach and the bungalows. If you look closely at the picture to the left you will see Colin holding one. Go ahead click on the picture to make it bigger. Did you see the frog? No? Ok, here is a better picture of the frog.

Cute little thing, isn't it? We originally thought it was a baby toad. We decided maybe it was a tree frog when Colin put a bunch of them in a bucket and they used their sticky little toes to climb right up the side and hop away.

The Great Frog Escape
Up, up....

And away!

David finally caught a monitor lizard. He has been trying to do this since we arrived in Indonesia. He has chased them at the sailing club, at the botanical gardens, and at a resort in Bali. This time he got lucky and was able to catch a baby monitor. It looks easy enough when Corwin does this on TV. David learned a few things: Monitors have very long sharp claws (in this picture the lizard has sunk them into the end of Dave's middle finger), monitors have sharp teeth and are eager to bite, monitors are grumpy, and a lot stronger than they look! He was bleeding from several wounds when he turned this little one loose.

And last, but not least, the ones who got away:

Actually the first thing to get away an almost three foot monitor that we ran across on road into the club. David saw this monster as we drove into the sailing club. He threw the van in park jumped out, and started running down the road after it, before I even knew what was going on. I kept waiting for him to yell, "By Crikey! What a little beaut!!" (OK so that would be Irwin, not Corwin...close enough, it even rhymes)The lizard took one look at Dave and made tracks into the nearest rice padi. After David caught the little monitor above he was REALLY glad this one got away!

This is not a lizard I would want to chase!

This is Dave watching another lizard get away!

Colin saw a SNAKE on this trip. (EEEKKK! THERE ARE FREAKING COBRAS IN INDONESIA.) Ok, so he didn't see a cobra. What ever he saw had stripes. Cobras don't have stripes. If they do have stripes, please don't tell me, just let me live in ignorance. Please! He swears it was a harmless flying snake. He knows because he saw a show about flying snakes on TV. Of course, he is an expert, whatever was I thinking??

I didn't see the snake, but I saw a TV show about kraits, they have stripes, they can kill you, and they live in Indonesia too. After I finished freaking out I treated Colin to yet another lecture about not touching snakes at all, ever, for any reason, seriously just don't do it!!! Lest you think I am one of those who hates snakes, all snakes, I would let my kids handle snakes back in Texas. Wait, maybe let is a strong word, it might be more accurate to say I didn't totally spaz out, mainly because I could accurately and from a distance of at least 4 feet identify all 4 species of venomous snakes native to Texas. I can't tell which species species here are bad news and which ones are (relatively) safe. Ok, I guess I could probably tell you it was a cobra AFTER someone pissed it off and it hooded up, but that would probably be too late to do any good, so my rule stands, NO SNAKES, NOT EVER!!! *** Important note: Colin swears he didn't try to catch the snake. For some weird reason I simply don't believe him, so I am putting it down as one that got away.
One of these will kill you, one is harmless. Can you tell which is which? Yeah, me neither! Actually my Mom would claim both are dangerous. One would poison her and one would give her a heart attack! Bad either way.

This critter didn't so much get away as refuse to come down where he could be caught. If you look closely you will see a large gecko in the middle of roof beams of our bungalow. This is a tokay gecko. It is considered good luck to have a tokay in the house. Perhaps because they eat bugs. Bugs are yuckier than lizards so I generally don't mind the tokay. Besides as lizards go they are sorta pretty, orangey with blueish spots. This one, however, was not a good house guest. At 2:00 each morning he began calling for a mate. It's mating call sounds something like a 3 year old child yelling TOE-KAY... TOE-KAY through a bull horn. At least now I know how they got their name.

I am sure there are other poor creatures that crossed paths with my men but I don't know about it, and I don't want to know about it. In some cases ignorance is bliss! I just hope the wildlife recovers before our next trip out to the sailing club.

**All animals were released back where they belong, traumatized, but mostly unharmed. We are a catch and release family.


Terio said...

Doesn't it just inhale that you are the only female living in your house! You get the brunt of all the "Boy" antics. SOme thoughts:
-What is WRONG with Colin! I think that he MUST be part Gladiator Ring Master of the animal world with the mantra of "Throw em all together and let's see who makes it out alive! AND, Flying Snakes??! I am so, so glad that I was unaware of any flying reptiles when I was there!
-What is WRONG with David? I see that the boys come by their "Corwiness" naturally. I think that it would have been pretty amusing to hear the story if David HAD caught that 3 foot Monitor! He he he!

kiky f said...

I used to live in Riau, when I was a kid, my daddy work for american oil company (was CALTEX, now Chevron Pacific).
so I get use to these animal.
I remember my mom was trapped inside the house with a snake in front of our doorway. :)

btw, i'm kiky (
i use my other blog for signing in.

Unknown said...

Your life is so fun! Exiting and different! I love reading your posts...

So I'm "tagging" you to do this next one ...for S&Gs...

Tag your it! ;)