I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

11 August 2012

Wildlife I Have Known

Since it abuts a park and is quite old, my wing of my school is an abundant source of wonder for the young naturalist.  Isopods, spiders, and various beetles in a wide array of colors, shapes, and sizes abound.  Grasshoppers and dragonflies occasionally stray in, as do a few cockroaches (I'm pretty lucky in this respect; if I see two roaches all year that's a lot).  We also have mice, which have attracted a few snakes in my time.  Early one morning a few years ago, a confused skunk came barreling through (without spraying, luckily).

This morning when I opened up the annex a giant thing came limping out of the dark.  It was so big I thought it was an injured frog.  Then I got a look at it:

(image from here)

After a little panicking unbefitting a Kindergarten teacher I was able to re-enter the building.  The mole cricket had placed itself between me and the stairs leading to my classroom, and there was no other way to enter.  (At the time I thought it was a mutant mammal/grasshopper cross or something; the little front paws for digging are really and truly creepy a clear example of diversity and adaptation in the animal kingdom).

So after a little preparation, I took a running leap and cleared four stairs in one go, putting me well out of the mole cricket's range.  Then I sprinted the rest of way to my room, went in, closed the door, improvised a windstop and got to work.   I also took a break to research the mole cricket, discovering that it could also fly.  I closed all the windows.

When I left, I jumped down all the stairs after warning the cricket that I was totally willing and able to smash it.  My voice hardly trembled at all.  Then I ran out of the building.  On my way out, I explained I had not locked up because I thought someone else might be working in the annex I knew that if I stopped to lock the door, thereby turning my back on the mole cricket and giving it an opportunity to sneak up behind, kill, and eat me.

It's funny; had the Kindergartners been there I know I would've been capturing it in a jar and quite positively excited about the whole thing.  On my own, though, not so much.

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