Snails and Geckos and Frogs, Oh My!

Rainy season has definitely hit.  I only got moderately wet on the commute twice last week, but more sogginess is certainly ahead.  New brake pads for the bike are called for ASAP-I had several tense moments where my brakes just weren’t gripping.  I’ve adjusted the cables now, but…new pads are on order.

In addition to bike fun, rainy season also means some of Liberia’s wildlife makes a return.  Now that the bats have left, we’re back to snails, geckos, and frogs.

With the rain, the frog chorus has started again.  They seem to have taken up residence in the drains under the Embassy parking lot, so as you go by you get a froggie serenade.  Thursday, I wound up with a small green tree frog on my bike lock.  I gently encouraged the little hopper to place itself on the bike rack, instead of going for a ride with me.  Last year, there was one hiding under my shift lever; good thing I saw it before I started the ride home.

The geckos have started coming inside, which gives the cats something to hunt.  Word must not have gotten around through the gecko grapevine that indoors here is not safe.  Lavash has always been good at hunting, and is very stealthy in her approach.  Benson, showing his lack of experience, is a little more exuberant in his hunt.  He’ll try as hard as he can to reach geckos near or on our ceilings (which are at least nine feet, if not higher in some places).  He only succeeds when he starts his jump on a table, shelf, or other elevated object.  Unfortunately for him, he’ll often knock down a gecko and Lavash, who has been waiting patiently nearby, will snatch it.

Finally, the snails are out en masse.  Most of them are still small, but are doing their best to demolish all vegetation (and stucco, and wood, and anything else) in their path so they can grow to the fist-sized (or bigger) giants that you get in West Africa.  Once they get to be that size, the best bet is to pitch them out of the yard shot-put style.  Otherwise, they’ll destroy everything.  Then again, they make a resounding crunch sound when the lawnmower goes over them, and the end result is the same (although tossing them over the fence avoids a sticky, gunked-up push mower).

Hooray for rainy season in Liberia.

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