Sunday, July 8, 2007

Herman the Gecko

Herman the Gecko
Originally uploaded by StormyPetrel
A quick word on bugs: They are everywhere. I always equated the tropics with big, marvelous looking bugs, but that's not the case here in Trujillo. Bugs are pretty much the same size here as in the States, just here there's about 100 times more of them, and almost all of them bite. Needless to say, I hate them. I wish horrible, painful deaths and all small, black, winged pests that invade my house to bite my flesh and suck my blood.

Which brings me to geckos. Geckos are everywhere in Honduras, and I love them. They're adorable yellow-green translucent lizards that scurry around your house at night, eating bugs. The eating bugs part is why I love them. Anything that reduces the population of mosquitos, flies, sand flies, ants, and the million other pests we have in Honduras is a friend of mine.

Geckos only come out at night. During the day, they find little cracks and crevices and nooks and crannies to hide in. My apartment, being almost completely bare, has few good hiding places for geckos.

Earlier this week, I was putting away some clean dishes when something moved inside the tupperware dish I had just picked up. It was a gecko! I guess my dish rack was the best hiding place he could find. I quickly snapped a top onto the tupperware, and looked inside.

He was a cute little guy, and the first gecko I'd seen in my apartment. I wasn't going to keep him in the tupperware as a pet (how the heck would I be able to get enough bugs to keep him fed?) but I did hold him long enough to take some pictures and name him Herman. After a while I let Herman go, and he scurried off to hide behind some shelves. I saw him again that night, running along the wall, chasing down the few bugs that managed to squeeze in through the screens covering my windows.

Geckos make a very distinctive (and loud) chirping sound from time to time. At night sometimes I hear Herman chirping away in my kitchen. It makes me happy to hear the call of my friend and ally in my never ending war against bugs.

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