Thursday, March 1, 2012


Hey ya'll 

I have a low tolerance for things that are unexpected or new. Coming from a family with a genetic history of high blood pressure, hyper tension and a myriad of heart disorders (enough to warrant a doctor, whose generations have treated my family's heart conditions for generations) I try to live a pretty balanced lifestyle, one that is WITHOUT surprises. So you can imagine how my heart just stopped today, when Ray showed up for dinner but instead produced a small little packet in his hand containing within it a turquoise ring, molded in the shape of a very large beetle. There was nothing that could have gone wrong with the gift, considering my utmost adoration for rings, gemstones and insects, but I was somewhat perplexed as my birthday was not for another fortnight or so but I didn't even get the chance to ask for he almost immediately said that "this month, this entire month, is for you... and  this is just the appetizer" Well fancy that! An entire month entirely devoted to me!!! Now that is something I can sink my fangs into with much relish!!!

And speaking of appetizers, today has also been rather special for another reason and that is that we've had a very new arrival to my ever-growing menagerie! Having pretty much overcrowded myself with butterflies and moths over the past few months in particular, I've come to expand my horizon by taking an interest in making observations of other animals as well, particularly invertebrates of other species, and while I've been having much success with other kinds of insects (my mantises) and arachnids, I've also began to grow very fond of aquatic/semi aquatic animals as well which is why on our way home today, we went out and got ourselves one of these fresh-water lobster things. Now I know these animals have gotten popular fairly recently (in fact, the latest "thing" seems to be miniature blue lobsters in medium sized plastic cubes) but to be completely honest, Ray and I have been eyeing them for quite some time already. As such when we decided to take one home today, we pretty much skipped the pet stores and went straight to our favorite Mak Cik's (Aunty) stall and managed to part with one for only RM10, instead of the exorbitant sum of RM40 that is being asked in most pet shops. Indeed I was so taken to finally obtaining one of these creatures that I went straight home afterwards, already thinking about how I might set up its aquarium and begin observing some of it's behavioral patterns and lifestyle. I knew, of course that this would be fairly poor indication of crayfish habits in the wild, but as they do not occur anywhere around here, I supposed that this was the closest I could ever get. 

Meet Marina!!!
There was some initial dispute as to what we should originally name our new pet but we eventually settled on Marina (which is really Ray's idea) after I discovered how to sex lobsters from several "trusty" internet sources. The process is really quite easy and all you have to do really is pick up the lobster and observe the area at the base of it's tail where the last two legs end and swimmerets begin. The upper most swimmeret would be more developed and leg-like with the males, whereas the females' swimmerets are generally broader and somewhat fan like (they will use these to hold their eggs and young while breeding). In fact, the picture above was taken right before I flipped her over in my attempts to discern her gender. Marina, of course, objected fiercely to such an invasion of her privacy and flailed her claws about, even managing to inflict a quick pinch on one of my fingers!!!

I did make a joke, originally, and suggested that we should name her Appetizer (on account of her small size) but Ray countered that he was very likely to fish her out of the tank and cook her if I did such a thing.


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