27 August 2013

Summer Fauna


With the change to summer weather, unique aspects of the animal life in Monterrey began to emerge. All over the city, cockroaches found their beloved mates and began to create life in abundance. John has captured several mamas and papas near the front desk in the temple. One night, Linda captured a teenage cockroach scurrying through a session room looking for friends. In one graceful scoop, it was captured in a tissue and tucked safely in her pocket. After the session she went to the office to report the problem to the recorder and show him the specimen; but the little beast had escaped and the tissue was empty! We thought it was kind of funny until the cockroach families started popping up in our sinks and showers. Suddenly we knew why there was a drain cover in each shower!

Cucaracha Norteña
Our kitchen has an interesting drainage system that makes life without cockroaches more challenging. The open kitchen sink drainpipe goes out through the wall with water and food debris and then empties into the laundry drain. There is no cap, cover, or screen over the opening from the kitchen, which provides a direct route from the main outside drain up through the grate and directly into the pipe leading to the sink. Chemical sprays are a wonderful thing; but it is just too little, too late down here one the heat hits. Because of this, our nightly ritual is to place drain covers or plugs in every drain in the house before retiring--and gratefully, we are no longer sharing our home!

We discovered one night that cockroaches are not the only critters that want to be in the temple. One evening one of our female workers was in the Celestial room when she saw something move on the carpet. Quick as a wink, she grabbed some tissues and captured the unknown species. When I asked her what it was, she said, "An animal with long legs. It was white--an animal!" We discovered much later that it was a lizard--apparently they enjoy the peace of the Celestial room, too. We are told they feast on the cockroaches and spiders that creep into the temple through unknown portals or by clinging to patrons.

The beautiful gardens at the temple have something flowering all year long. There are almost always butterflies feasting on the nectar, but we never see caterpillars. The locals say that is because the butterflies come through here on migration. Some weeks we have thousands of multicolored, blue, or yellow butterflies swarming the gardens. They range in size from one-inch to three-inches in diameter. There is only one problem: butterflies do not cooperate well with picture taking.

Black and Yellow Butterfly on Yellow Flower

Yellow Butterfly on Purple Flower

When we work mornings, we take our walk to the park in the evenings when the cicadas are out in force.  They are skinnier and louder than others we have lived with. The sound begins with just a slight hum and then gradually, tree by tree, they all join in with a force that makes you cover your ears. The sound is a lot like walking under the high-tension electrical wires in west Farmington, but building to ten times more volume--then suddenly without warning, it all stops and there is silence again.

The giant green grasshopper appeared on our back wall one day. Yes, it is as big as Linda's hand!

Giant Green Grasshopper

And for my grandchildren's pleasure, this Mexican groundsnake stopped us in our tracks during our walk in the park one morning: Non-venomous, passive, and it was as confused as we were. 

Ground Snake

Finally, the birds continue to be terrific down here. We have had Altamira Orioles, Golden-fronted and ladder-backed woodpeckers, and, of course, our favorite parrot, Tomás.


  1. We have a daily ant battle and it makes me crazy. It is amazing the places they come out of like cracks in tile and from the stove vent in the ceiling so I can't find their source. I have tried every natural deterrent that I can find on the internet without much success. Deadly poison is all that works. I try to be so minimal and careful so nothing every gets eradicated. Our piso here has a lot of wilderness area around it and I am sure that makes it worse. I am hoping for better days in the big city. We do have cockroaches but mostly they are dead (the favorite food of our ant invaders is a dead cockroach). I made some baits of powdered sugar and bicarbonate of soda and I think they work on the roaches. I am looking forward to freezing winter again. We had a lizard in our house this week also.

  2. Well, since the celestial lizards are eating the cockroaches, I suggest you consider issuing them recommends ;-D