Friday, April 27, 2012

Creepy Crawlies

I am now obsessed (and with good reason) with looking for snakes and I continuously scan the ground when I am outside.  This morning, Sonder and I were returning from a walk when I saw this on the sidewalk... 

Of course, I totally freaked out - but not so much that I didn't take a photo!  I have to tell you that my first thought was, "What now?".  Since scorpions are commonly found here, I assumed that it was some kind of scorpion.  However, after doing some research online, I determined that it was a giant centipede and, after reading about the giant centipede, I was left wishing that it had been a scorpion.  I feel like I am becoming the Nichada expert on dangerous animals.

From "Thailand:  Dangerous Animals", I learned that "Giant Centipedes are found all over Thailand, in urban areas as well as forests and can grow to the size of a man's forearm.  Like a lot of insects in the tropics, if it rains heavily, giant centipedes like to come indoor to avoid drowning.  A shoe or bag can provide a handy place for the creatures to hide and if they are surprised and can't escape, they will bite.  Their bite does not kill but for three or four days, the victim will be in serious pain.  Even a shot of morphine from the local hospital will only take the edge off.  The bite marks are similar to those of a small snake and centipede bites can be mistaken for snake bites in the dark.  The victim requires anti-tetanus, painkillers and rest.  In case of allergic reaction, breathing support may be necessary.  They are plenty big enough to notice in the day but for your own safety, never walk around without shoes in the dark, even indoors."
So, now I have yet one more creature to worry about.  The "funny" thing is, when we moved to Australia, we were constantly warned about the poisonous and lethal animals found there.  At that time, Australia was home to 7 of the world's 9 deadliest snakes, 3 of the world's 5 most poisonous spiders, the aggressive saltwater crocodile and the great white shark as well as the deadly box and Irukandji jellyfish. I thought for sure we were going to have a direct encounter with one or more of those animals during our three years there.  One Christmas vacation, we went snorkling on the Great Barrier Reef and had to wear these very attractive wetsuits to protect us from the jellyfish. 

While we did see many redback spiders around the exterior of our home and on the pool patio, we were very careful to inspect everything before before we sat on it or picked it up. Coming home one night after being out bush, we saw a Western Brown snake crossing the road.  However, that was the extent of our contact with dangerous Australian animals.  
Prior to our move to Bangkok and, really until the flooding in the Fall, I heard not one peep about the dangerous cobras, pythons, centipedes, caterpillars and monkeys that are here. So, it is really a bit of a surprise to realize the very real threats these nasty animals pose to us, even in such an urban area as Nichada.
It seems odd to write this but it will be a busy but calm weekend for us.  Both kids have their school team tournaments tomorrow - Caitlynne for softball and Christopher for volleyball. They will leave Nichada about 6:15 am and return late afternoon.  Of course, the tournaments are being held at different schools and on opposite sides of Bangkok. Since I am hesitant to leave Sonder alone for any length of time, I decided not to go to either tournament. Caitlynne has a babysitting job tomorrow night.  She has a few families in Nichada that she sits for on a regular basis. She loves the kids she watches and she enjoys the steady stream of income.   Christopher is going on a field trip on Sunday to the mangrove forests to participate in an Earth Day activity.  I didn't think twice about giving him permission to go but then I saw a follow-up email that said, "Tell your parents not to worry.  You will come back alive."  What do you suppose I should make of that?!?
Have a great Friday!


Anonymous said...

Great blog! Arriving in Nichada in 3 weeks with my 2 little girls (and their Mum!) a couple of weeks later. They are 1 and nearly 5 - was wondering how prevalent the snakes/centipedes are in Nichada? Will be living in Premier Place 2. Thanks, Ian

Kristen said...

Hello! Thank you for your kind words about my blog! I think the snakes are more prevalent when it is mating/birthing season and also when the rains begin as they are flooded out of their homes in the ground. There were quite a few snake sightings March, April and May. We see the centipedes more frequently year round but they always seem to be spotted on the sidewalks, streets, tennis courts, etc. (out in the open). Safe travels to Bangkok!