17 July, 2007

This 'N That

This is another bit of a grab bag... It seems that I have to do this every once in a while. I guess it helps get loose ends tied up and in order, somehow.

Anyway, just so you can see that we do have modern conveniences here, the shot below is Dianna doing laundry out in our (Tony's) laundry/yard tool shed. There is a top-loading washer that does a fairly good job.
Dianna Doing Laundry in the Laundry Shed
We use a solar-powered clothes dryer - lines and clothes pins. The common perception is that electricity costs too much here to use it for such tasks. I'm not sure if that's true or if it's just frugality at work.
Dianna Hanging Laundry Under the Palapa
Anyway, our clothes lines are now under the palapa - makes for a nice shady area to hang washing up in, but it also gets a nice breeze, that helps dry the wash quickly.

Had an interesting thing happen this afternoon while Anthony, Cody' brother was visiting. He'd brought some cigarettes for Dianna. We were all sitting on the porch when Tanya all of a sudden started barking emphatically at something. I couldn't see anything.

Dianna suddenly hollered "There's a snake!"

Sure enough, just in front of the Isuzu, there was about an 18" snake crawling leisurely along. Tanya was still acting excited about it. I grabbed the machete that we keep by the front door (just for such things) and headed out to look at it.

I nudged it with the machete and got a look at the head, which was kind of broad and arrow-shaped. An old but unreliable indicator of a snake being poisonous. It had a diamond scale pattern, well-defined running down its back with dark background and lighter diamonds. I didn't see any rattles on the end, but it did appear to have a stub tail.

I asked Anthony if it was a bad snake - he was still on the porch and wasn't coming any closer. He said it was a bad one. I had no way at the time to deal with the snake, no loop stick or forked stick or anything but the machete. And Tanya was still trying to get to the snake.

So I executed it by chopping its head off. I opened the mouth with the tip of the machete and could see two short fangs. I scooped the head and the body and pitched them over the fence to keep Tanya away and so some of the local wildlife will dispose of the remains.

Later I looked on line for snakes of Belize. It seemed quite obvious to me that the snake was a Fer-de-Lance or Tommy Goff. The most poisonous snake in Belize. But, I read, that even if you do get bit, you have a fair chance of not getting "envenomated" as they said, or maybe just getting a slight dose. however, after getting bit, it's imperative to seek medical help. Just last year a guy up in Xaibe was bit by a Fer-de-Lance, didn't seek medical help and died. Keep that in the back of your mind.

I didn't feel good about despatching the snake - he wasn't threatening us. Tanya was the only being at the time that was in danger from the snake. But, I had no other way to deal with it in the near term. I will try to be more respectful in the future.

Under the palapa, we never fail to find wildlife - seems they also appreciate the shade. Below is a bright green, grasshoppery-sort of thing. I have no idea what it is. That will have to wait till I get my Belize wildlife book down here.
Green Thing
We have had a new crop of young Jesus Lizards - they seem to be running all over the palapa area outside - maybe that was what the snake was going for.

This little guy cooperated quite well in allowing me to approach and take his photo. He's about two or three inches long in the body, so you can see his tail is easily twice that length. And are they fast!
Tiny Jesus Lizard Watching Me
We had a good Barracuda dinner again, fixed by Dianna. There was enough for us to eat our fill, for the kitties to get as much as they wanted, and for Tanya to have plenty to accompany her evening bowl of kibble. And, there's still some left over for lunch tomorrow.

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