Thursday, July 26, 2007

a little too much wildlife

In one 24 hour period:

In the process of painting the outside trim I disturbed a nest of wasps living in the eaves of the house. After being stung once while on the ladder, I found out the hard way that leftover foam spray from last year is not effective. "This stuff doesn't seem to work," then dropping the can and sprinting for the door while hearing a chorus of "Run Mommy!" from the windows. After a trip to the hardware store for fresh spray and expanding foam I killed all the nasty creatures and plugged up their hole.

That night I awoke that night to a horrid odor wafting through the house and realized that our summer skunk visitor has returned. Last year I was puzzled at all the little divots in the yard were until I woke early to see a large skunk waddling through the backyard digging up grubs for his breakfast. Well, the interruption in my sleep gave me an opportunity to catch up on my blog reading, so I took advantage and returned to bed an hour or so later.

The raccoon was spotted by Will in the morning wading across the stream, likely with a snack gleaned from our compost pile. The kids have the chore of emptying the slop pail into the pile and rarely remember to throw a handful of wood chips over it to discourage the bugs. Last year we think a raccoon took off with the results of a banana bread experiment gone bad. We only discovered it because I accidentally left the bread machine paddle in the loaf and when I rummaged, okay dismantled, the entire 3 foot high compost pile in a panic to find it, it was completely gone. Since nothing can decompose in 3 days, we theorized that the essential metal piece was somewhere in the woods and had to be replaced. I learned from my costly error and now always take the paddle out right after removing the bread from the machine!

If we encounter this many wild creatures around our house in town (once we even spotted two deer grazing in the backyard), I can't imagine what we will see next summer when living on the farm. Our neighbors up there told us about a moose wandering out in our fields this spring, and a month ago I almost ran over a huge snapping turtle sunning itself it on our road. For a second I debated getting out and moving the "poor thing". Later I found out that these creatures are vicious on land and would have likely bitten my finger off.

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