Beetles, butterflies, mosquitoes, and scorpions

The bugs around Lake Atitlan are funky. Giant beetles the size of small black mice droopingly “flit” from flower to flower on wings that barely keep them aloft. Monarch butterflies have appeared and are a pretty addition to the lovely view at breakfast.


I was awoken my first night in Santa Cruz at 3am by a shriek of profanity. One of my dormmates, up late drinking and saunaing, had been stung on the toe by a scorpion in the bathroom. As he described the extreme pain and his friends laughed, I wondered what is the proper treatment for a scorpion sting anyway? What types of scorpions are here? (I should really find this out…) Apparently the remedy is to sleep it off and endure a numb limb for a few days. In the morning I congratulated him on not being dead, even if he couldn’t feel his right leg anymore. He seemed pleased, though lopsided.

This was the second scorpion sting that happened while I was there. Sleeping in the open air dorm, I then naturally became paranoid about scorpions. I checked my shoes before putting them on and shook out my sheets before climbing under the covers at night. While I was preoccupied with scorpions, I barely realized how little attention I was getting at night from any bugs until I heard about mosquitoes in the enclosed dorms. Ha! Could it be luck, a quirk of building location, or perhaps my orange-thyme nighttime facial mist has natural pest repellent properties? I have heard it is vanilla to keep away scorpions, lavender for mosquitoes. Natural face care for the win! ;-P

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