Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mice and Mousetraps

We've had a mouse in the house.  This is our second one (that we know of) and the  first time we had to go hunting for mousetraps.  Here, they do not have the spring-loaded, killer version of my youth instead opting for a more humane (think PETA), small  plastic pad coated in a sticky substance that I suppose the  little rodents find attractive.  And for our first mouse visitor it worked.
This new guy is apparently smarter than that and we see him occasionally darting about out of the corners of our eyes.  The dogs have tried to sniff him out, but to no avail.  We can't use a cat because the dogs don't want to share the space in the house
So it was back to the sticky traps.  Unfortunately, they trap indiscriminately.

Sure hope this wasn't Lenny... 
More later,

Sunday, August 9, 2009

El Pulpo

Progreso for all it's efforts to be a tourist destination for cruise ships, is a fishing town.  And the main harvest here is pulpo or octopus.  When we first arrived we were told the harvest was robust and the pulpo was a major export to Spain and Japan.  When we would walk our beach we passed scores of pulpo boats that had had arrived from fishing and lined the beach.  Last year, they disappeared.  Over fishing and poor management pretty much wiped out last year's harvest and this year, while supposedly improved, it still expected to be light.  Here are some shots of the boats that have come back this year.
Only about a half dozen could be found.  I asked one of the fishermen if they were catching much and he replied "very little".
These small skiffs are rigged with long bamboo poles fore and aft.  From these hang fishing lines and the fishermen use crab as bait to lure the octopus onto the line.

Word on the street has it that there are many poachers fishing the pulpo illegally this season and they are being hunted by the authorities.  We hope they get nailed because this town is poor enough without these hard-working souls being robbed of their livelihood.
More later,