One of the most popular questions among my fellow city folk is: “what kind of bugs and insects did you stumble upon?”  Well, I’ll answer that question, and raise you one to include other creatures and even some rep…repti…reptiles.  Oooh, my skin crawled a little bit typing that.

This post would be no fun at all without pictures…so here goes!

I’m not sure what this fella’s name is, but he looked like a monster-size version of a cicada.  When he decides to fly, he could easily be mistaken for a real-life helicopter.  And when said “helicopter” flew around the longhouse, there was a 99.9% chance I was nervously shaking under my mosquito net.  Mind you, he was completely harmless but his size alone was enough to send me to the safety of my net.

This is a centipede.  Talk about a survival mechanism!  If he sensed danger, SHZOOP!  Those little legs would disappear in the blink of an eye and you would be left with this protective shell.  #socool!  Also, I’m pleased to share, I did in fact hold multiple centipede balls. 

Oh, this was a cute kitten that I cuddled with for approximately 3 hours in Tembak one afternoon.  The rest of the group was doing important things like “bonding with the village” but I couldn’t seem to put this sweet girl down.  (Photo cred goes to Paul Daley and his awesome camera.)

This was a yellow-something-something snake which was discovered by the villagers one day  (Somebody help me out with that kind of snake it is?)  She wasn’t poisonous and was totally gorgeous, from a distance.  We also crossed paths with a pit viper while at the longhouse.  Also beautiful, extremely poisonous and a lazy critter.  She just sat on a log, soaking up the rays and posing this way and that, while a half dozen people crowded her with cameras. 

This was some cool and weird version of a stick bug, I think.  And lest you think that is my arm that the bug is sitting on, I will assure you it most certainly is not.

A pup!  He decided that he was mood for a jungle hike.  So one day when a handful of villagers took a few of us into their neighboring rainforest, we turned around and realized the dog had fallen into perfect step with the group and was coming along for the adventure. 

Not much to say here other than…huge.  It was huge snail.

One day in a village far, faaar in the interior of the jungle, (and by “faaar” I mean, an approximate 10-hour bus ride, an 8-hour speed boat ride and a 4-hour longboat ride from a “city”) we stumbled upon this king cobra skin.  And Eco-Warrior Ben Dessen (AKA: resident reptitle expert from his 60+ pet snakes at his home in Australia) determined it was a “fresh” skin, no more than 1-2 days old.  It was pretty awesome but I definitely watched where I walked for the rest of the day!

And Sweet Jojo!  Hardly a “critter” but who doesn’t like pictures of this cheeky girl?  #heartbreaker!

And this is…wait!  Chris is not a critter!  Well, in a sense he was!  The cutest little critter in all of Ensaid Panjang.  Facts to know about Mr. Chris, his whole life seemed to be rushed.  He was always racing around the longhouse, trying to keep up with the older kids, wondering where the group had dashed off to, or just causing trouble (in a sweet way) in general.  I started more than one morning at the longhouse, sleepily opening my eyes only to find his two little eyes peering in, wondering when we would wake up and play.  The other thing about Chris is that he is waiting (not so patiently) for his adult front teeth to grow in.  In the meantime, he is rarely found without a hard piece of candy sticking out where the teeth should be.  And no, he’s not game for sharing said candy.  Trust me, I asked.

These are just some of the critter pictures I happened to capture during our 20-day journey.  One can only imagine (or have nightmares) about what we will stumble upon during our upcoming 80 days.  So exciting!  Borneo has such diversity and beauty.  And a big thank you to Planet Earth, ya done good.

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