Saturday, April 17, 2004

This week was filled up with mostly work. Nature wise one of the other soldiers saw a barn owl flying around at dusk. Unfortunately I missed it.

Yesterday the same soldier, who sometimes brings me insects to identify told me he had a freaky looking insect that was unlike anything he had seen before.

When he produced it the bug turned out to be a large mole cricket. A very cool looking critter with big digging claws. One of my favorite insects. I've only seen 3 in my life, even though they are as common as dirt in some parts of the US.

When I was in Indonesia in a small sleepy town called Kumai on the southern coast of Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). I spent a muggy night hanging out with some other young guys staying in the hotel. I had jumped up a few times from our conversation to nab some large beetles and cicadas that had been drawn to the light of the veranda. The guys got the idea that the crazy American liked bugs.

The next day I was to take a boat ride up the river to the Orangutan refuge at Tanjung Puting. In the morning when I was leaving, one of the guys from the night before came to my room with a matchbox. He told me that he had an animal that was poisonous and very dangerous. I had him draw a picture, but I had no idea what he had. I was afraid to open the box because of his description. I threw the whole match box into my jar of cyanide and waited a few minutes. When I opened the box there lay a large mole cricket. Its now gracing my bug collection back home.

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