This is a weta who showed up on our front porch one day. It patiently waited for us to take its picture before we caught it in a towel. We took it to the chickens, and they ate it. Click here for more information about weta. I can't be sure what species this is, but look at the holes on the front legs- I think these are like ears. It is truely a "god of ugly things" (wetapunga, the Maori name).
So it's winter here. The past two weekends have been stormy, interrupting our plans to go scuba diving. The weather was pretty nice during the week, but crapped out on the weekend. I've been doing a lot of cooking and baking to help heat up the house. We've had some friends over to eat, too. Last weekend I spent a good 30 minutes spraying dilute bleach on the windows and frames to kill the mold growing as a result of condensation. We have an old house, and I've mentioned before how the wind seems to blow right through the windows. Homes with single-pane glass windows, unglazed, are common here, which is, to be blunt, bad design. The condensation moisture is very damaging to buildings. The cost in wasted energy is worse, because there's a limited supply of energy, and here we are, throwing it away. Our attempt to minimize this loss is to minimize our living space to the center of the house, around the woodburner.