Dung Beetle: just the name is intriguing, right? Nicole pointed one out to me and it was so much fun to watch it trundling its marble of dung across a path. Suddenly, the ball hit a large pebble and stopped. The beetle strained, but without success. It released the ball and went around to check the obstruction; then reset itself. It takes an upside down position! Its head is down low and its back legs embrace the top of the ball. It steered its dung ball to the side and away it went again.
Toad in the Hole: After Nicole told us about the big toad Kepler found in the backyard I was really hoping to see it . . . and I did!
Cockroach: I saw lots of these at the house Nicole rented for a while. No point being squeamish – but the woman sitting next to me on the plane down said she was much happier living in Alaska after seeing a few of them.
Horned Toad: Nicole spotted one once, but I haven’t been as lucky. It’s not actually a toad in spite of it’s popular name – it’s a lizard.
Fire Ants: The imported Texas Fire Ant is considered “the worst of all the varieties. It stings repeatedly and the bites blister and hurt a lot. There are two mounds along the route Maybelle and I follow daily. They hunker down during the night and early morning, but get really active and march off in a long line when it gets sunny.
Marilyn remarked that at least there aren’t snakes
which reminded me of the harmless blind snakes I’ve seen around the house
and inside it.
Nicole also told me that she came home from a holiday and found the house invaded by geckos which she shooed out with a broom.
Nicole just saw an armadillo crossing the road . . .
and small deer and javelinas roam about the university.
Preheat oven to 425.
Put okra on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 20 minutes.
Serve with DIP:
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp sambal oelek (spicy Asian sauce)
½ tsp sesame seeds
Salt to taste
Thank you, Nicole, for creating this wonderful appetizer!