Just because we are in the middle of the monsoon doesn’t mean we have to stay shut inside like hermits waiting for better days to come, and Ishita and I are out to the park every afternoon unless a heavy downpour prevents it We however adapt our outing activities a little to the current weather, the sandpit and slide pretty much being out of questions on most days. The monsoon is actually the ideal time to get your kiddos out to look for all kind of park creatures you would otherwise not spot, or spot less easily, many bugs and reptiles are more likely to be out in the open, along with birds, and butterflies. So Ishita and I have a new game that consist into spotting those park creatures and observing them. I managed to snap a few pictures from my phone as well which I am going to share there :
What we named “baby snails” there are quite a few in the flower beds, the are barely the size of a finger nail and have a translucent shell. I saw quite a few big horn shaped shells during the Summer, all empty and am yet to see a live snail in these. The baby ones are tiny and cute and Ishita found them super fascinating. While it brought back memories of me and my friends picking up the big ones and making them run in a race when I was a kid.
These caterpillars are Ishita’s favourite, she spotted them first last year and now that the rain is back so are they. This variety only seem to feed on spider lily plants and no other, they are spottable until about October end or so, last year they initiated such a craze with Ishita that I bought her the Very Hungry Caterpillar book. I have no idea in what type of butterfly that one turns into, but the pattern on its body is quite cute.
Spot the chameleon! This one may not look like your typical green fat chameleon with bubble eyes, but they are indeed belonging to that family, this is what is called the “common Indian chameleon” they don’t change colour in a drastic way, look more like a dragon of tiny iguana, and are big enough to spot them easily when on the move (and they are fast runners). During the dry months you can spot them in the bushes on occasion, during the monsoon they will venture out to eat. That one was first on the grass standing absolutely still next to a dead branch trying to blend in, I could not get a good picture of him then, and Ishita moved closer which scared the hell of of him and caused him to retreat to the nearest palm tree at which point he started his act of not moving again long enough for me to snap that pic.
These little creepy crawlies actually made me learn something, because when I shared the pic with my friends I said it was a centipede convention, at which point my friend told me that they thought centipedes had longer legs and a flat body, then a friend suggested that these might actually be millipedes. So I googled it because me not being an English native speaker, I grew up knowing the term “Mille pattes” for any bug that has way too many legs, no distinction between the flat centipede and the round bodied millipede. So having hear the term centipede in English in the past but never the millipede one I assumed that while in French we call them “Thousand legs” they might all be called “hundred legs” in English (centi having the Latin root for hundred). Turns out the creepy biting flat thing with long leg is a “hundred leg”, the still creepy but apparently inoffensive round bodied thingies with too many legs are “thousand legs” (milli coming from the Latin word for thousand).
These are everywhere in the park: walls, trees, pathway…they seem to have colonized the whole place, you can’t miss them and they seem to like being in groups, I suspect we are catching them during the mating season.
Apart from these, there were many butterflies, birds are coming out too (with the amount of food supply running in the open seems logical), I even saw two stinking bugs mating but could not get a picture, and I am sure we will spot more critters in the next few weeks. It is apparently not uncommon to see snakes coming out during the monsoon too. With the concerto of ribbit ribbit coming from frogs we are yet to spot that latter do not surprise me much either. Ishita has pretty much forgotten about the kiddie rides and the sandpit and now wants to inspect the park daily to see where all the crawlies are hiding, and we are having fun spotting them.