What You Should Know About Living in the Rain Forest – Part 2

The animals of the rain forest are intriguing too. All around you every form of life awaits to pique your interest. Go ahead, walk along the beach. For miles there’s only you, the flora and fauna of an unspoiled earth. The scurrying and antics of the sand crabs will amuse you. Chirping and croaking of brilliant blue-skinned frogs with their starkly contrasting yellow markings will startle and amaze you.

Look closely in the streams and you’ll delight in the playfulness of royal purple colored crabs scampering over rocks and fallen tree limbs near the cool, crystal clear waters. Overhead in the networks of branches female iguanas leap and crawl among the fresh green leaves that perfectly match their color. Male iguanas, striped dark brown and off black will be hard to spot against the tree trunks and branches until the slide gracefully from one to another.

Be wary of the spiders with three foot wide webs spun between low-lying tree limbs. The green mottled with white spider will be off to one side. Spread the fingers of your hand as wide as you can, from the tip of your thumb to the end of your pinkie will be just about the span of the spider and its legs. Its body will be about the length of the first two segments of one of your fingers. If you spot a tablespoon-sized ball of white cotton attached to a limb near the edge of the web, that’ll be her eggs; another generation waiting to be hatched soon. Then the spider will be in a bad mood. Best to leave her alone.

When the sea mixes with the fresh waters of a rain forest stream, a tidewater swamp complete with mangrove trees and their over-grown, finger-like roots will surely be present. It is among these the fire engine red Tasquera crab with its snow-white claws and blackened back will bask, climb and hide. They’re quick, but you should be able to get a good close look before they bolt for cover. You’ll wonder how such a gaily colored creature can hide itself in such a dull, dark environment so completely that it cannot be seen or found. Speared, rinsed and cleaned, they make the most marvelous crab soup you could imagine.

Called “limpia casas” or “house cleaners”, three inch long, semi-translucent dull gray lizards can crawl across almost any surface with ease. Wood, wall paper, plaster, metal or glass; they move in short spurts horizontally, vertically or diagonally in their constant search for flies, moths, candle flies, mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches, termites, maggots, worms or whatever else they can find. They thus “clean” homes of a host of unwanted pests. After dark they love “hanging out” near lights, lamps or light sources to pick off an unwary moth or two attracted to the light.

Cast your gaze across the multi-colored waters of the Pacific Ocean. You can see the dolphins playing in the water less than 50 yards from the beach. Go ahead, take a swim. In this part of the world where there are dolphins there are no sharks. The gentle surf is warm and clean. Your swim will refresh you. At every turn, there are delights and a few dangers that could befall the unwary, but nature is at peace here with all who are conscious of the environment. It is here to nourish, care for and delight you. Come and enjoy it.

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