Saturday, July 02, 2016

Shock of the Day - Paying Attention

Day Two in Taipei (Jiannan Rd) and first thing in the morning, I was supposed to get on a bus but I missed it...twice!

Don't ask.

Apparently, I must be blind OR the minivan masquerading as a bus was hiding behind the ACTUAL buses so they couldn't see me nor could I see them or flag them down.  Point being, I miss the bus but honestly it wasn't meant to be.  If I had caught the bus, I may not have walked to the train station and realized, "hey, there is a temple behind it (Jiannan - hence the name of the station and the road).  Had I not seen the temple, I would not have seen the sign to the butterfly garden and the highlight of my day.

So, I was ill equipped for this little excursion as far as water goes because there was none to be found on the trail leading up the mountain.  It's a gorgeous trail but I wondered if anyone actually walks it and whether or not there are hoards of spiders barring my way.  Fortunately, the trail seems to be well maintained and has enough foot traffic for me not to run into spiderwebs - honestly, my hugest fear when walking in woodsy areas.  Not the snakes or the wasps that are noteworthy enough to garner a few physical warning signs.

No, it's the sticky and invisible webs and their builder/occupant.

I'll tell you why:  They spiders here are FREAKISHLY large here.  I kid you not.  The body - not the span of the legs - but the body of a few spiders were the size of my hand...from finger tip to wrist.  Add in the leg span and these mofos are about the size of a plate, I bet!  Scary to say the least but what's worse is they look and may actually be the ones that capture birds and eat them.  Because the big ones need more food and bigger prey, they are higher where they are likely to capture bigger prey which brings me to my shock of the day.

PAY ATTENTION not just at your feet but EVERYWHERE!  One because I love to take pictures of buggies and you can literally find them everywhere, but also because those huge mofos are over head and look when you suddenly realize they are just above your head, you tend to get paranoid about them jumping ship and landing on your head.  Not really the most ideal of situations but a situation that can be avoided if someone were to carefully look for the web as well as the triggering strands that hold the main structure of the web (Not sure what the actual term is, but I'll go with this!").  Well, now you don't accidentally want to knock that strand down because then the spider may be just as surprised as you and then land on your unfortunate head.

Most likely freakin' out, too, I bet but none to pleasant of an experience.  

Back to paying attention, so I love to take pictures of bugs.  I've always had a fascination with bugs but these critters of the 6-legged kind are fascinating here in Taiwan as well as beautiful.  I found myself in an amazing butterfly park with more butterflies than I've seen in the wild.  There were also various spiders - as mentioned above and others.  I spent a few hours there but I could have spent almost the whole day there had I been smart enough to bring water.  Example of me not paying attention. 

I did however pay attention to where I was stepping as well as the side railing and most definitely above me.  There is one particular spider (4th picture down) that scared the bejeezus out of me because it's body - not body and leg, ONLY BODY -  was the size of my hand from wrist to fingertips!  I would look under other stuff just so I can get a glimpse of a cool looking bug or something that catches my eye; I was happy to say the least.  I spent quite a bit of time there but I was keeping track if I was getting dehydrated, also noticed that the clouds were quickly rolling in quite fast so I ventured to the closest mall at the base of the mountain and just waited out the storm.

I took over 200 pictures of bugs and in my hast to escape the storm, I lost a valuable which I'm hoping to somehow find when I go back next week.  Another thing PSA: Pay Attention!!!