I was compelled to post part of an email from fellow naturalist/sailor, Glyn, aboard Dignity:
.....................Remember those ants, well my foot is swollen.....now attacked by mosquitoes, wasp, ticks and ants and a close encounter with a spider!!!! This is dangerous hard work................
I don't want you to think I'm a sadist, but I couldn't help but laugh when I got this; it's sooo true. I have 12 years worth of scars from mozzies bites. My legs are covered with little white polka dots that won't tan. I did warn her about the ants, but she blew me off as though I were an overbearing mother. OK, even though she was being funny (I think) when she wrote her email, I shouldn't have laughed out loud. I should have gone over immediately (2:00 a.m.) and given her my anti-itch cream.
Pay back is a bitch...
Pay back is a bitch...
A few days later, I was out and heard something in the understory. I went to the side of the path and was peering into the darkness when I felt a spider web on my face. I backed up immediately and starting wiping my face and body down. Now I feel a big glob of sticky web on my hand. I look down and see a GIANT SPIDER on my chest! I went to brush him off and when I moved my hand, he came off with the clump of webbing. I shook my hand to get the web off, but it is stuck like glue. I finally calmed down enough to hold my hand at arms length and drag the web with the spider climbing up it across a big dried leaf on the path. The spider catches on the leaf and my heart starts to beat normally. I really don't like spiders!! This one was a Golden Orb. They can get about 7 inches across and are creepy looking.
My attacker fleeing the scene. Look at the palm of your hand and you will get an idea of his size.
Just so you know, I sent Glyn an email of my attack and she admitted she laughed.
During our email exchanges, she sent a link that describes our backyard pretty well:
I've seen a few creepy, slithering things this month:
I had two people respond to my request to ID this snake. One is a BirdForum member with an obvious knowledge of snakes and the other, John Murphy, is a snake specialist who was in the field when I emailed. He was without his library and needed to make a scale count, but off the cuff he said the same thing the BF member did:
Liophis epinephalus (not venomous)
I am providing a link to John Muphy's excellent 'Serpent Research' blog ( I don't know what the snake on his blog header is, but it doesn't look like the kind I want to run into!):
click photo to enlarge
Orb Weaver Spider
Another Spiny Orb Weaver
(can't have enough varieties, can we?)
You can see by my glasses how big this guy is. Fortunately, this one doesn't have a face height web to walk through.
Not everything out here is creepy:
Blue Morpho Butterfly
Juvenile Green Iguana
July's Bird List for Fort Sherman/San Lorenzo National Park:
Snowy EgretGreat Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
Great Egret (Not at Ft. Sherman--Across canal at Galeta Island)
Straight-billed Woodcreeper (Across canal at Galeta Island)
Western Slaty Antshrike
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet (heard)
Golden Collared Manakin
Southern Rough-winged Swallow