Close Encounter of a different kind, or, OK, this is going to be gross!

Dear Nicalai,

[Warning: you may not want to look at my second and third photos.]

You know how sometimes you feel very comfortable being close to another animal, for example with llamas or alpacas, like these.

Every time we encounter these animals -- even a close encounter -- I can't tell whether its an alpaca or a llama. Can you?

Every time we encounter these animals — even a close encounter — I can’t tell whether its an alpaca or a llama. Can you?

Other times, though, you really want to see another animal — let’s say a very deadly snake — but you don’t want a close encounter with it, right?

What is good is when you get to make the choice for yourself.  You chose what kind of encounter to have, right?  Close or distant, depending on how you feel about the animal beside you or that you want to observe. You could say that I’m a pro-choice kind of plastic Jurassic.  I like to make my own choices about these encounters with others in the animal world.

Maybe you’re like me, so pity poor Papa.  Why? Well, when we were here in Peru, he had a very close encounter with an animal.  That animal didn’t even give him a choice of how close the encounter would be. In fact, he didn’t even know about his close encounter at the time … not until a few weeks later. That’s when, as a result of the unknown encounter, well, you’ll see what I mean … just look at this photo that Nona and I took of Papa’s ankle:

Papa called me,

Papa called me, “Solbit, come look at my ankle, please. Tell me what is that coming out of the skin?”

I didn’t want to get too close, but I had to get close to see that little thing wiggling out of Papa’s skin.

From Nona's and my close encounter with this little beast, we agreed on what we had seen, and I replied to Papa,

From Nona’s and my close encounter with this little beast, we agreed on what we had seen, and I replied to Papa, “OOO! Yuck! That looks like a maggot!” And Nona said, “It is a maggot!”

Guess what? That little wiggly thing was alive, and it wasn’t Papa’s skin that was wiggling either. No, we found out that, because this thing was coming out of Papa’s ankle now, that meant that some weeks ago an insect, called a “bot fly,”  had bitten Papa and laid eggs inside Papa’s skin.  That would have happened a few weeks ago when we were in the jungle of the Amazon Basin area of Peru, a region called ManuRemember, I wrote you before about that trip?

Oh, yuck, those eggs were in there all that time! Yes, not just “egg” but “eggs,” plural (that means “more than one.”) So, a few more maggots came out later.  Poor Papa. Fortunately, the eggs weren’t heavy and the maggots are so very tiny that they didn’t eat much of him, and, “best” of all, they came out of his ankle. They didn’t decide to stay there.

So Papa’s ok now, although he does spend a lot of time checking his ankles for bot flies now. Nona keeps saying, “For Pete’s sake, Papa, stop swatting at your ankles. We’re not in the jungle anymore.”

Of course, not all close encounters are bad.  Some can be very good, if you have them by choice. For example, I’m looking forward to a close encounter with you this December. Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

August 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit sees huge vultures flying below her!

Dear Nicalai,

Nona was pretty excited, “Solbit, we’re off to Colca Canyon, and we’re going to see Andean Condors there!”  “What’re Andean Condors?” I asked, in the most boring tone I could convey.  See, I just wanted to relax on our sunny porch at Killawasi Lodge here in Yanque, Peru.

Nona answered, again very excitedly, “They are very big vultures!”  “Oh,” I said somewhat deflated, “I’ve already seen canyons and vultures. Black vultures. Turkey Vultures. Seeing vultures really doesn’t sound interesting to me.”  Of course, Nona was her usual enthusiastic self.  No stopping her.

So, I didn’t get to kick back on our sunny terrace.  Off we went to see canyon and condor. Well, I have to admit that the canyon was beautiful.

This isn't even the deep part of Colca Canyon . The deep part is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the US!

This isn’t even the deep part of Colca Canyon . The deep part is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the US!

Nona, Papa, and I hiked down the shallow canyon to the river and then hiked up the other side. We had beautiful views on the steep paths, and, guess what, we weren’t even in the deepest part of the canyon.  Good thing we weren’t, because we would have taken days to hike out of the deep part.

We took a bus ride on a steep and winding road, with a lot of other people, to get to the edge of the steeper part of the canyon.  When we got off the bus, we saw crowds of other people leaning over the edge of the canyon.  We hurried over there.  When we looked down, this is what we saw …

We saw the Andean Condors. It is a type of vulture that likes to eat big dead animals. Oh, yuck! On the other hand, they do clean up messes, don’t they?

We saw the Andean Condors. It is a type of vulture that likes to eat big dead animals. Oh, yuck! On the other hand, they do clean up messes, don’t they?

Yeah, isn’t that amazing that we looked down into the canyon to see the soaring vultures, the Andean Condors, and they are the biggest bird I’d ever seen. I don’t want to say that I was wrong, but the truth is that the sight was not boring.

On our bus ride to and from seeing the Andean Condors, we passed through villages, called pueblos.  Nona explained that the Spanish conquerors made the native people move from their homes scattered across the landscape into these pueblos, so they could be controlled by the Spanish.  So these villages were really not so nice in the beginning.

We saw this church in a pueblo (a village).  Isn’t it pretty?

We saw this church in a pueblo (a village).  Isn’t it pretty?

The Spanish conquerors forced  native people, who were not Christians, to build it and forced them to join the church.  Papa said, “Just the way Jesus would have wanted it!”  The way he said that made me think that he wasn’t serious, though. So, I guess “looks can be deceiving.” On the other hand, “time heals all wounds,” so maybe things are better now. Do you think?

People here enjoy wearing beautifully colored, handcrafted fabrics.  In fact, I got so carried away looking at the clothes that I got fooled.

Here’s a statue that fooled me, for just a second. I had thought, “Wow? That’s a big person carrying that fox!”

Here’s a statue that fooled me, for just a second. I had thought, “Wow? That’s a big person carrying that fox!”

Fooled, again!

Here's a real person who fooled me. I had thought, "Wow, the sculptor really brought that piece to life." Then I realized, "She's a real person."

Here’s a real person who fooled me. I had thought, “Wow, the sculptor really brought that piece to life.” Then I realized, “She’s a real person.”

Anyway, if I were a person, rather than a plastic jurassic, I’d like to wear clothes like those.  I wouldn’t be like Nona and Papa and wear the same boring brown and black and blue clothing all the time.

I think we’re going to make the trip back to Arequipa tomorrow, so I have to help pack now.  Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

signature

 

 

 

Solbit

August 2012

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”