Here on the banks..

Thankfully, nuisances here in the Northeast are usually not as toothy and deviously submergible as an alligator. I have trouble trapping things, which results in their mostly having been tickled from afar by Relax, usually more than once.

Presently, our pestiest trespasser in the single is a red squirrel. I’ve named him *Donald.* He is not content to have the back 40, so to speak — he wants every tree, everywhere. The grays (and their pilot chipmunks) will not be allowed what the grays have built up for decades! This red steadily and aggressively advances.

I have bolted into a dead run like a rabbit-teased beagle (sans the 700 city/hunting tags) right out the deck door, down the back stairs, and almost stepping on his last tail hair when he ventures near (and once, “near” was on the very deck itself). This spectre coming at me would certainly spook me into wariness, at least — and it does indeed spook everyone who doesn’t know I’m hot on some rascally red heels — but oh, red squirrels are not dissuadable! Various members of the testosterone set have offered to off him/her. I have not said no. I have simply said, “Not while anyone’s around.” If, in a worst case scenario, this little thing gets into the get-into-able attic and has some baby reds, life as we know it is over!

There is a time of summer here where the mosquitoes own the world each evening. They seem as if they’ve bulked up for this time — maybe it’s their peak, or maybe it’s a “now or never” thing for them, but these poke into your skin with a sound. It’s hard to tell whether they’re the crispy ones, or you are. There’s NO sitting out back in the evenings, unless you are tanked or totally DEETified. I am usually never either of those. Hence, I *miss out* on sharing the space with the raccoons, skunks and any ‘possums we may still have around here. And, of course, the bats who love crunchy mosquitoes.

Our real pests make themselves more known in winter, once the black ants whose land this is have stopped horrifying many sink and countertop (and toileting) experiences. Field mice are so cute. Outside. Inside, the cartoon of an elephant spotting one and jumping onto a chair comes back way too quickly.

My ex-son-in-law constructed a live-release trap for us down in the basement — a big empty putty tub with food at the bottom. Across the top, a taped newspaper with large slits cut into it. It had worked in his childhood home. We checked it nightly, nightly, then every few days. Another few days, nada. We appreciated the effort, though. When I thought to clear out some of the junk in the basement one day a few months later, I ripped off the newspaper and what do you suppose I saw at the bottom? We all felt badly, but that very flat mouse felt worst of all.

If only pests weren’t pests. I’ve occasionally thought of chucking it all for a nice clean pest-free something or other elsewhere.  I’d have to battle DH for that, except that other moments come rushing back. Like the kingfisher’s afternoon, and the beatific water v’s just under the returning herons; the beaver tail slap having spied us on the bridge above, the young Cooper’s hawk, the yodeling young fox, a lowing down near the river’s edge one 2 a.m., the lust-lost moose, the old bullfrog. Tadpoles *caught* and treasured into frogs; the dog plunging in when given the go-ahead (or not!); the Koolaid toast at our first picnic table, to a non-biological Dad on Father’s Day, both of them informing both of us that here on this first Father’s Day with him, they’d decided to call him “Dad” from now on…

 


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4 thoughts on “Here on the banks..

  1. jackcollier7 says:

    Seems you have an idyllic life, apart from the ants and the mosquitoes and the mice. Here red squirrels are hounded out by your introduced greys, it rare to see a red squirrel in England these days
    Once again I love your style. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lifelessons says:

    Have you tried those little stick-on circles available at Walmart or probably any pharmacy? They worked really well at camp. We stuck three on each tablecloth and didn’t see one mosquito. They also have little pins to pin on your clothes. My friend put them on his grandchildren.
    Mosquitos here carry dengue so we are being vigilant.

    Liked by 1 person

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