Turns out there aren’t many creatures on a young atoll. What a surprise. There were a couple birds, one of them a small green bird that resided on the island and there were egrets that sailed above us on the water. We had geckos, small geckos that would make their way into our fresh water bins so that only the closed top ones were safe to drink. We had plenty of crabs (and we all know how I now feel about crabs) and even more hermit crabs. There were apparently very small scorpions that I never saw and HUGE spiders. Oh, there were plenty of flies and mosquitos too.
I had heard about the spiders from day one but it wasn’t until a week in that I saw one. Stephanie had told me about them and said how big they were, but I didn’t fully believe her. When she told me how big they were I thought they would have a big-ish body and really long legs. No, these things were BIG. I mean, the biggest small spider I have ever seen. You know, the really creepy kind. Not tarantula big, but skinnier, with less hair, seemingly faster and more creepy looking. I suddenly became terrified of working in their environment with plenty of places to hide in nothing but my jandals.
Hermit crabs, I have come to learn, are horrible little monsters. They are pure evil in a shell. Leslie and Patrick tend to adopt animals that they find either in the village or somewhere on the motu and rescue, and they were telling us that once they adopted a half starved puppy from the airport who was nearly starved and missing half a tail. Turns out hermit crabs will eat the tails of puppies. What sort of evil creature does that to poor little puppies!
The flies, I have to say, nearly drove me to insanity. I honestly thought one day that if the devil appeared in front of me right then and told me he would eradicate all the flies if only I gave him my right arm…and I would have done it. Or at least seriously considered it. I hated flies even more than mosquitos, they were ridiculous.
The only good things were the things in the ocean (except for the eels, I hate eels). We got to see pretty fish, rays, sharks and colorful coral in the crystal clear water of varying shades of blue. Ocean creatures were good. Land creatures…not so much.