I’ve never considered myself a wimp. I can squash an evil-looking spider or crunch a palmetto bug without flinching. I never freaked out when lizards invaded my house in Miami, or when mice took up residence in my apartment in New York. But when I got out of bed yesterday morning and just about stepped on something that looked very much like a scorpion, I almost lost it! I let out one of those silent horror film screams as I scrambled back onto my bed. Cinder poked her head out from under her blanket to see what I was carrying on about. I didn’t hesitate to smoosh the creature with a shoe, but I’m now concerned that I may be visited by his family. As it turns out, the creature I killed wasn’t an actual scorpion, but a very large insect related to a spider that just looks like a scorpion. If you’re going to pick a creature to look like I’m thinking a scorpion isn’t a good choice.
As it turned out, my day of nature wasn’t over yet. Marinella asked me to go for walk (passeggiata) in the countryside with her. There is a convento about two miles away from Montepulciano where the Fratelli Capuccini reside. (The word convent is used here for male and female orders.) The grounds of the convent were gorgeous and we parked a little ways away and began our hike. Marinella brought her dog Otsi, but I couldn’t bring Cinder since Otsi doesn’t allow other dogs in his car! It’s just as well as Cinder would have had a hard time. The day was unusually humid with storms forecast and her joints wouldn’t have enjoyed the workout. The path we took was gorgeous, mostly trees and underbrush along the walls of the convent. I practiced my Italian on Marinella and we had a long discussion about her favorite actor, Harrison Ford and her favorite movie, The Fugitive. Because we haven’t had rain in a week or so, it was very buggy on our walk, mostly gnats, and I think I ate one or two. There were some mosquitoes who dined on me for cena, but I returned home without any ticks so I counted myself fortunate. I’m not sure if Otsi was as lucky.
My day of nature ended with a spectacular thunderstorm. Cinder went to bed, oblivious to the crashing noises coming from the skies around us. I debated the wisdom of unplugging my computer, and eventually did as I didn’t want to risk a power surge and be incommunicado. I realized as the lights flickered that I didn’t have a flashlight or any matches, and if we lost power I was ill equipped. Thankfully the lights stayed on and I was able to do a thorough sweep of my bed and my room for any scorpion bugs before falling asleep! I’m not looking forward to making the acquaintance of those again any time soon.