Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Curious Incident of the Frog in the Night-time

Overnight we stayed in the Orinoco Bujana Lodge which was surprising civilised for such a remote spot. I had one of the palafittes or wooden huts all to myself and there was basic plumbing including a shower, which was a very good way to cool off when trying to get to sleep. It even had river side view so I felt very much at home.

Electricity was provided by a generator that only ran for a few hours just after sunset during the evening meal. After that we relied on candles and lamps, as in the picture below. Not only was a lot quieter without the generator, it was also gave a lovely natural light to the scene.

Of course there is the fire danger given the huts are wood and the roof is made from temiche palm and recently two such cabins had been burnt in a fire.

The lamps were there on the wooden walk ways to guide you to your cabin's door. We had been told to be very careful when going in or out to open and close the door quickly to make sure any undesirables didn't get in as well. As if to emphasise the point on the wall of the communal area there were a number of photos including one of those big hairy spiders that wasn't on my wish list for encounters in the Orinoco Delta.

The trouble was that after quickly getting in and closing the door it was pretty pitch black. I should really have taken a torch, but hadn't, and the backup plan of using the iPhone on maximum screen brightness was only useful if had it to hand and it was somewhere hidden under the pile of books, clothes, sun cream, washing things, malaria pills, water bottles etc on the spare bed.

So I felt my way into the room to the little table where I remembered the candle and matches were to be found. Having felt around and located the match box, fired the first and there was a brief bubble of light, during which I spotted that they had decorated the little table with a miniature toy frog, about 2 cm long.

How nice I thought, as the match went out (too soon) so lit a second. In its light I saw that the little toy frog had moved and by the time I'd got the candle alight completely disappeared!

Hmm.... thinks I: if a frog that is clearly not inanimate managed to get in what else is hiding in the dark corners of the room?

It was a bit of a shame that hadn't managed to take a picture of the little frog to add to my wildlife collection - if only to reassure myself that I hadn't imagined it.

So next time I came in (after dinner, preparing for bed) before lighting the first match I took a couple of pics of the table. Initially I was very disappointed as in the preview screen at the back of the camera no little frog was to be found.

However when preparing to write this post I noticed that there is a something lurking just over the edge of the table, a something that retreats further into the dark in the second pic (see the highlighted area).

It might indeed be the missing frog - but it could also have been one of the creepy crawlies that emerged sometime during the night to feast on my legs. Apparently Englishman's leg was on the menu and it was even tastier than termites!


bonnie said...

Sorry, I don't think even my owl-whisperer friend's friends could identify that shy frog!

But what a wonderful vacation that must have been.

JP said...

It wasn't exactly the most revealing of photos was it?

Yup, had an amazing time, really recommend Venezuela.

Katinka said...

This brings back memories of life in PNG - sitting in the soft light of a kerosine lamp watching the occasional firefly flashing by like Tinkerbell.

The frog sounds very cute, although hopefully it was busy keeping down the numbers of other creepy-crawlies. It's probably safe to tell you now that you're back in civilisation that cockroaches fly, and that they like to nibble on the skin between human toes ;)

ps( love the title!)

JP said...

I thought you'd like the title :)

If the frog had been a little toy one I might have been tempted to bring it back, but as to cockroaches - YUCK!!