It’s been a week dominated by animals, both inside and outside the house.
From new-born babies and naughty teenagers, through to death, and in some cases being eaten. This week really has had it all.
Since being here our house has become home to many animals. We’ve disturbed spider nests, seen wasps and other flying critters make home in everything from our dining table to outside light sockets, and for weeks we’ve had a suspicion that something was making their home inside the house.
A few weeks ago our gas pipe from tank, which is outside, to inside cooker looked a little bit gnawed. Then the same thing happened to the washing machine.
When this week we found some torn and shredded paper on the sofa we knew we had mice.
What we didn’t expect was to see it making home in between the cushions. Once we lifted them we found two creatures. But sitting on a bed of newly chewed sofa foam and post-it paper was a tiny days-old baby, no more than the size of a 10 baht - or 10 pence - coin.
In fact, it may be a shrew but mum and dad, each about 5cm long - about the size of your thumb - were too quick to get a good look at.
Somehow we caught one parent, and quickly released both adult and baby into a bamboo patch about 500 metres from the house. We haven‘t seen any evidence of the second adult, which was a little larger. We just hope it wasn’t the female as she’s likely to have another half dozen babies.
For future reference, chasing a mouse around the house for almost an hour is good exercise.
A lot of our morning routine involves removing insect carcasses from the mesh doors. I‘d guess about 1,000 insects a night - at least - die in and around the house. In just two months I’ve seen more insect species than I could have imagined existed. From huge colourful butterflies to microscopic but very annoying flies the volume of insects is staggering.
And with insects come geckos. If only there was a market for fresh gecko shit we might have a business. We have tons living inside and outside the house.
I found one the other morning flat on it’s back, as if it had just lost grip from the roof and fallen to its death. Never seen that before.
We’ve also had more rain this last week, along with some quite scarily strong winds. While this brings concerns about damage to the house, it also gives Sanya (brother in law) a chance to catch some fish. We live on the edge of a dam, about 3-4km from the water, so he goes out from 11pm to 3am to catch fish. He’s had some good catches.
Mum in law Ma also uses the rain to catch one of her favourite delicacies: crickets.
These crickets live deep in the ground, but when it rains they come closer to the surface. After a heavy night of rain its common to see Ma head off into the field with her digging hoe, and come back an hour or two later with a plastic bottle buzzing full of crickets.
They are pan-fried with salt and a touch of oil before being served up to crunch on for dinner. Wings are ripped off and their innards squeezed out before they are ready to eat.
Have I tried them? I didn‘t really have much choice and Ma squealed with delight when I ate the first one of the ten or so she had prepared for me.
What do they taste like? Its like eating something crunchy with a creamy centre. Not gooey, creamy. That‘s what I keep telling myself.
I wasn’t the only one eating something new this week.
Remember I mentioned naughty teenagers? Dudley has decided he’ll eat anything and loved getting a good chew. This week he chewed up a doormat. We thought that since he was so keen to eat it, we’d serve it for his breakfast. All of a sudden he didn’t seem so keen.
Its been a busy week and seems like it flew by, mainly because the desk job was very busy. Which is out excuse for not having planned the rest of the land yet.
But to give you an impression of how much land is around us, and while we were having a bit of fun last weekend, we made a video using a drone.
just a bit if fun ;)