Hooded Mergansers and Black Widows

William went on this sabbatical with a singular mission.  He went to find creatures. 

He didn’t want to try the delicious food in Mexico.  Round Ritz crackers, Coca-Cola, scrambled eggs, and cold water got him through. 

How about learning a bit about the Maya culture?  Nope.  William McFarland was there for the creatures thank you very much.

I know – let’s build a sand castle.  No way.  Will McFarland was on a creature seeking expedition and creatures don’t live in sand castles.

William was determined.  He was a man on a mission and therefore we were a family on a mission.  We were the “creature crew.”

And I must admit, William has an impressive gift for spotting wildlife.  He found eels in tide pools.  He found crabs, sea urchins, hermit crabs, and fish when we were at the ocean.

He managed to touch two iguanas on the tips of their tails using a stick. (He had to sit very, very still to pull that one off.)

He saw two snakes in the wild, but sadly neither one of the snakes were venomous.  He was really, really hoping for a nearly deadly encounter. 

William saw scorpions at dinner, and when we were in Michigan he talked Jack into going frog hunting almost every single day. 

Jack and William also had our only bald eagle sighting in Michigan!

But William’s very best animal sighting happened on our second to last day in Mexico. 

In one last glorious effort to help William fulfill his dream of spotting a deadly/seriously scary creature in Mexico, Jason took William to the Yaxuna ruins.  The ruins at Yaxuna are not completely excavated, and the area is still very much off the beaten path.  Not many tourists go to these ruins so it sounded like a great place for the creature crew to explore.

They did not spot any snakes, but as Jason was climbing a temple he did hear our youngest son announce “Oh my goodness Daddy – a black widow spider.”

Yes – that’s right – William found and identified a female black widow spider all by himself at just 5 years old.  (Nerds of the world unite!)

This was definitely the highpoint of the trip to Mexico for William, and he has told everyone and I mean absolutely, positively everyone all about his encounter with the female black widow spider.

This is what encountering a black widow spider made William’s face look like!

On our last outing along Lake Superior Jason and I also had an exciting wildlife encounter.  (Thankfully – it was NOT a black widow spider!)

We encountered a family of Hooded Merganser ducks swimming in William’s frog pond.

So much adorable cuteness!  And they were very noisy too.

Soon they were off across the beach and into Lake Superior for their evening adventure.

We worship a God who made both black widow spiders and hooded merganser ducks.   How cool is that?  Animals for daring adventurers like William and animals for milder folks like me.

Our God truly is an awesome God.

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