Critter alerts

Ray went to town without me the other day and came back claiming he’d seen something new on the road. As usually happens with Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and other similar “sightings’, he hadn’t been able to get  a clear picture, but here is what he did get.



coati7It was our first coatimundi, or as they call them here, pizote solo – since the male is a solitary animal who only joins the female band (groups of between 10 and 30 individuals) to mate, usually at the start of rainy season. 

We saw another one yesterday in the truck on the way, so I can now vouch for Ray’s original photos. 🙂 And maybe the rain is coming.


black wasp 1

black wasp 2

Ray and I were sitting out on the screen porch the other morning when he said “What’s that?” We both stood to take a look at what seemed to be a large black beetle (a good 3″ across) crawling across the gravel toward the house. As I may have mentioned, I have an enquiring mind, so I decided to put some shoes on and go outside for a closer look.

As I was bending to inspect it, it flew away and so did I – ack! It was one of the dreaded “flying scorpions” that Jenny had warned me about when we first got here – real name great black wasp. Supposedly non-aggressive (per Google, they hunt katydids mostly) but the sting will hurt if you provoke it. And as the name indicates, they are huge and black enough that you can follow their flight just like watching a hummingbird.  No need to be checking that one out closer, anymore.



Ray (apparently our eagle eye) also spotted an iguana from the front porch so we went outside to take a look at it. It sort of appeared to be shedding and wasn’t moving at all until he stepped in for a closer look, whereupon it BOOKED across a short stretch into a tree – followed immediately, and at the same speed, by the cat. Too funny! And, too slow, cat.


Two days ago, I was on my laptop and glanced out the window to see – again – the cat happily prancing behind…OMG, is that what I think it is? Oh yeah, a tarantula.


cat-and-tarantula-2Ray surprised me by being willing to go outside and get these photographs, although he jumped as much as the cat was doing every time this thing made an “attack” move. The cat kept on batting it on the head, though, and it was getting kind of pissed off.

And THEN, one of those great black wasps decided to get in on the fun and buzzed the tarantula, which of course meant the cat had to try to catch it in mid-air – not once, but multiple times, until finally the wasp stung his paw and flew off, and the cat limped off, and Ray collected the tarantula in our dust pan and flung him over the fence into the neighbor’s yard (they’re back in Canada right now, until fall).





So – this is how I look now when I head out on a walk around here – armed with the Bowie knife, a can of mace spray, a high-pitched alarm, and my keys with the kubaton (self-defense tool) attached. And a large stick, not pictured.


Oh yeah, and my iPhone for the camera (because if I see a jaguar, I want proof). And the Belize phone (so I can call Ray to come and get me as soon as I finish photographing that jaguar, or to pick up my bloodied body, whichever happens first). 🙂

Note: the chance of seeing a jaguar are very, very slim – even though they’re out there.

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