Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lions and tigers and bugs tee hee

So, when one moves to a new country one must learn about the new critters one may come in contact with.  The ones that we are likely unfamiliar with.  I have almost started to rate countries based on the list of deadly critters. New Zealand may just be the place for me, there is nothing deadly there.  Australia has a list of deadlies as long as my arm, but I still think fondly of my time there and have tried often to move back since we left 5 years ago.  Canada has bears and cougars, and thankfully I have come across neither.

I also find that each time we embark on a new country there are always a handful of people who are more than happy to share with you the deadlies to look out for.  I was warned by one kind person to be careful about the deadly cane toads.  Yes they are poisonous, but one would have to lick the toad and i actually did see a cane toad while living in Australia and it was not exactly the type of thing I would go around licking.  My first few days in Australia, I was nearly blind with fear of deadly critters, that they would kill me or my baby.  (I am pretty certain, travelling with 3 children under the age of 5 and a healthy dose of jet lag did not help).

So now here we are in Italy and while I am happy to receive helpful advice about the things I should be concerned about, I sometimes find that the information can be biased and widely interpreted.  I did know that there are vipers and while trying to find out if they are a real threat, I have been left somewhat confused.  I also knew about scorpions.  My experience in the past is that scorpions are deadly, but here, they apparently give a nasty sting, like a wasp and that you should be aware of possible reactions.  Luckily I was armed with this information when Finn ran in from a lizard hunting expedition to inform me he had been stung by a scorpion.  I was not however prepared for red ants or poisonous (stinging) caterpillars, though I was familiar with the latter from our time in Australia.  One night I felt something crawling on my forehead, and when I crushed the little ant, I was left with a little 'burn' from what ever they carry on board.  Finn has had the same experience.  Yikes I am itchy just thinking about it.  Finn also had a nasty reaction from the caterpillars.  And now our latest experience, ticks!!  Thankfully not on us, but on our dog.  And we even gave her a dose of anti-tick medication.  Luckily we have found them before they get a good hold on her, but they are creepy.  Ick!!! More itching.

The girls are getting pretty freaked out and each time they learn of some new threat, they decide the solution is to go home.  I remind them that ticks are in Canada too.  But okay, we don't have vipers and scorpions, but we do have cougars and bears.

I know I can't judge a country by it's critters, but learning to deal with all these new things has been an experience, and lets just say I hope the viper is as elusive to us as the the Canadian bears and cougars have been.


  1. Okay whoa! I thought the scary critters *were* all in Australia (which is why I'm never going there). They are in Italy too?! Yes, you can tell I've hardly travelled outside our cold, wet climate. Though I'm sure there were deadlies in Hawaii and Mexico, but thank God no one told me about them so I frolicked without a clue. I'm sorry you got that wierd thing on your forehead, and Finn's curiosity seems to be teaching him a lot. :) I painted my nails last night, an attempt to pamper myself, do some self-care. But today I can't help noticing my fingers feel like I dipped them in candle wax, and the kids says I smell like toxic chemicals. Yay!

    Having tea and chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, and thinking of you. Ciao bella!



  2. I too have rated countries on the creepy-crawly scale. A friend of mine went to Australia to wake up with a black widow on her pillow, staring her in the face. That influences my feelings about Australia quite heavily! We did have two black bears in the front yard a few months ago, so they are probably more frightening than the elusive (I hope) vipers!
    Just love you and your adventures - I am dreaming of an escape! Mi piace (spelling)?
    P Yama

  3. Can't beat Cali/Arizona for critters.
    Widows, rattlers, ticks, mosquitos, scorpions, tarantulas, coyotes, bears, SHARKS, crackheads, meth freaks, pcp zombies, walmart shoppers...
    Tuscany is pretty NICE! ;)

  4. Mary, thanks for keeping up the blog! So good to hear how you are all doing and see your lovely photos. All well here-- did I tell you I just took a pottery class? So much fun; I loved it-- and I thought of you. Please say hi to Mark and the kids for me :)