The bonus of the return of the rains is that as the countryside gets greener the birds that haven’t been around for a while start returning to sing their morning song. And now an amazing amount of insects, frogs and toads have sprung from the earth after a long rest over dry season.
Every night we must make sure that we close the door around dusk. The latest infestation is June Bugs. The bugs are quite large and loud when they hit the windows. They are nocturnal and attracted to lights so even with the doors closed they will gather along the window ledge on the door in large numbers. If we have to run outside at night we do it quickly because these crazy bugs will be buzzing around and hit us, they hit hard and will sometimes get caught our hair, yuck. Deep-fried June bugs are a delicacy in some parts of Latin America, although I haven’t seen any offered on the menu here.
The cicadas have also returned adding to the night-time chorus and the lovely blinking lights of the fireflies add to the ambiance. Last night there was a few small fireflies on the window and a large one. Bugs on the back door window give us an opportunity to look at them closely and it was interesting to see the pulsating light emanating from the rear of the big fellow.
Adding to the symphony in the night is the variety of frogs (rana) and toads (sapo). Their songs range anywhere from a “peep, peep” to a “honk, honk”. We don’t have much of a problem with Cane Toads around la casa although Dust and El Gordo have had a trouble with one or two that believe their pool is a toilet. These large, brown, extremely ugly amphibians disappear during dry season; it seems that they go underground only to emerge fully formed and the size of a caca de vaca. Some nights driving back from down the peninsula these nocturnal toads are all over the highway. SU does nothing to avoid them so if they are silly enough to hop under the tires of the truck you can sometimes feel a little bump as they splat. These sapo grande are also poisonous so we’re glad that we don’t have a pool for them to congregate around. They will eventually wander off after the first infestation, where they go, who knows.
The other evening we did have a tree-toad or frog take up residence on the front porch. He started on the floor, moved to a cushion on the sofa we have out there and then attached himself to the front door window. Once he did that he proceeded to drive Dos Gatos crazy. It actually is a brilliant plan for a toad or frog to follow. Sit up near the front light and wait for the bugs to come to you. He must have learned well from the geckos that set up shop there every night. The only problem is that he left some big caca de sapo out there. The fellow must have eaten well.
Soon all the creatures in the campo will set in to a wet season routine. We’ll probably have a few more hatchings of various bugs and critters over the coming weeks and then we won’t have to frantically wave our arms around every time we go out at night. Biodiversity during wet season is part of what makes life so interesting in the campo.