Sunday, January 18, 2009

No one else is concerned that we don't know its name

...which seems slightly odd when you consider how much time was spent the other night trying to parse the difference between an alligator and a crocodile (Separate taxonomic families! Jaw size! Dentistry!)

Cousin Heidi: Are there any poisonous snakes in Costa Rica?
Carlos: One of the [coffee] pickers was bitten by a snake last week.
Heidi: Snakes and I do not get along! Where?
Carlos: An abandoned coffee area.
Moi: Why abandoned? Too steep?
Carlos: No, the production was just too low to warrant picking.
Moi: Is the picker still alive?
Carlos: O yes.
Heidi: What about the snake?
Carlos: I presume so.
Me: What kind of snake was it? Fer de Lance? Mambo? Copacabandana?
Carlos: Oh, that I don’t know.
Me: We should find out. Does one use different antidotes for different snakes?
Carlos: I doubt it.
Moi: But we should know what kind it is.
Heidi: Why?
Moi: So we can call it by the correct name? Because to name something is a step toward understanding it?
(I continue in this vein but no one pays attention.)

And speaking of creatures unnamed - I found this friendly insect in the baño last night:

Click for larger view- I am not much of a photographer but this fellow has rather elegant markings.

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