Wednesday, November 28, 2012

No Bites

Moving to the desert, we had expected to see less green, and yet, it is still a shock to look out our giant windows and be greeted with varying shades of brown, tan and beige each morning. But, like everything else foreign, we have slowly adjusted and have began to see the beauty in it, especially on clear days when the sky is a brilliant blue and the sand looks almost sparkly.

This is not one of those days. This is a brown day. 
I have been told that although the desert seems like a dry, wretched place where nothing can survive, in reality the opposite is true, and there are many, many plants and animals that thrive in the arid conditions. This may be a fact, but I certainly haven’t seen many examples of it so far. Most of the life I witness is sustained by massive quantities of desalinated seawater. The plants, animals and people I see on a day-to-day basis, survive by drinking tons and tons of water and not we, nor our kitten, nor our plants, would survive in the desert long without it.

Growing a little green for our home.
This point is really driven home by the fact that there are no bugs here! Practically, none at all. Moving to the desert from the tropics, I had expected to leave behind the gorgeous jungle with brightly colored flowers and giant green leaves, but what I didn’t expect was to also leave behind the numerous and massive insects.

It was a common occurrence in Honduras to wake up in the morning to giant cockroaches scuttling out of the light. I expected to find ants in my cereal, rice and floor and termites in the cupboards and on the counter. Hairy tarantulas were spotted often and even captured and played with by our cat. Mosquitos bit us and ruined sleep. Flies were everywhere and scorpions hid in our showers and shoes. It sounds terrible, but it was so common, I forgot to be bothered by it.

Lots of beach and no sand fleas!
The opposite is true now. There are practically no insects at all. No spiders form webs in our corners and no ants appear to enjoy our spoiled fruit. The kitten has no grasshoppers to chase and no cockroaches to kill. Flies are so rare, that I remember the only day we saw one in the apartment. It was an event, something to talk about, a fly!

Once the realization hit that insects have ceased their daily existence in our lives it is hard to even remember how we dealt with them before. I forget what it is like to wipe the counters daily for traces of food or check the dark corners for creepy crawlies. I never wave my arm in front of me to capture webs in dusty places, there are no webs to stick to me. I no longer wake up with odd bites on my arms and wonder if I am going to die from the swollen bite. And I never lie awake listening to a mosquito's buzz and wish I could stuff my ears with cotton. It is kind of like paradise, a paradise with no green and no bites.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a sandy heaven! I must've been stung by fire ants in Honduras about a dozen times, and Fanny nearly died from Dengue not long ago.