Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Backyard Crawlers

I only live a few hundreds meter away from Jakarta, but this Bekasi resident often stumbles with the wildlife most people don't even know exist in the area.  

Squirrels running along the electricity cables may be a common sight for you. How about a luwak (civet) doing the acrobatic on the very same cable? The one I saw has long bushy tail, short feet and a long snout profile. I knew it's a luwak because it emitted the fragrant pandan smell as it moved. 

We could start a kopi luwak factory if we could catch the animal. Hahaha, naah, I prefer to see it roaming in the wild.
Burung gereja (sparrows) are common birds in the area, but I once saw a green-chested little bird eating the caterpillar in my backyard. Oblivious to my presence, the little bird continued on its hunt for green caterpillars. Too bad I don't know much about birds and too bad I didn't have my camera with me at the moment.

Since this year is the Year of the Water Snake, I can't help but remember the snakes I've seen in my home. Our move to Bekasi some 20 years ago has allowed me to see many snakes, from the black ones to black with yellow rings, because the land where my old home was built used to be swamps. The scariest snake discovery was the one curling up like a Baygon mosquito incense under the bed.

There was a myth that if one kill a snake, there would be more snakes coming because they are looking for their sibling. Well, we killed a snake and indeed, more snakes did come. 

When we moved in to the new home two years ago, we thought it would be the end of the snake encounter. Wrong. The neighbor next door has many trees, which make nice homes for snakes. And so we got a visit from a small black snake with the triangular shaped head.  It curled around the telephone cable and I mentioned it casually to M,"It looks like a snake over there, M."

As M ran to wake D (so that he could kill it), I looked at the snake and said,"Hey cute little snake, if you're a good and kind creature, I'm telling you to leave now to where you come from because my dad would be here soon and he would kill you." Boy, I've been reading Harry Potter series too often, I'm imagining myself as a parsel tongue. Anyway, the snake winked its eyes (or maybe I was only imagining it) and then it slithered through the air ventilation. The next morning, D closed all air ventilation with mosquito net.

Morals from the story:
1) Avoid killing the wildlife creatures when possible
2) Always carry a camera to photograph the said creatures

Below are several backyard crawlers that I managed to photo.

Recently my backyard was invaded with the caterpillars. They look ugly now, but wait a few weeks later when they turn into butterflies and you'll love them:).

Unfortunately, not all caterpillars can survive. RIP dear caterpillar.

One night, as I  went to the kitchen, I saw this slithering creature on the floor.

Sorry for the blur, I took the photos quickly.

It looked like a shell-less snail, but I suspected that it was a leech. So I reported it to M, who was on the verge of sleeping, about the possibility of a shell-less snail. 

"It can't be a shell-less snail, it must be a leech. We found one leech this afternoon. Just toss it to the fish pond," M said, sleepily.

So I did what most obedient daughters would do: woke up D so he could toss the leech to the pond :P.


  1. wkwkwk lucu ngebayangin tifa ngobrol ma tuh uler...

    btw, jadi inget, aku sering bunuh ulat karena 'khawatir' gatel2, plus tuh ulet makanin daun..... lupa kalo dia emang dalam proses jadi kupu2, jadi nyesel.....


  2. kalo sekarang diinget lagi, emang rasanya aneh ngobrol ama ular itu. soalnya udah jam 11 malam, trus gue males bunuhnya, karena ngejar ular itu pasti harus geser2 barang supaya si ular gak ngumpet. belum lagi upacara penguburannya. hadeuh. ya mending ularnya gue suruh pergi aja, dia senang, kami apalagi :).
    soal ulat bulu, gue lagi kepikiran mo taruh mereka di bekas akuarium (yg gak ada airnya tentunya), trus dikasi daun2. jadi bisa liat proses metamorphosisnya. nah masalahnya adalah...bekas akuariumnya di mana ya? hahaha.