We're Moving

We've lived mostly on rural properties and over four decades have shared our time in those places with a wonderful variety of 'critters.' They've provided us with countless observations into nature, endless hours of entertainment, some grief and quite a few funny stories. I collected those experiences, sat down one day and compiled them into a short story of sorts, injected with a generous amount of creative license, under the tongue-in-cheek title ...
~
We're Moving

Well, our neighbours have finally pushed us out. They win. We'll be leaving.

Let me introduce them …………..

Ordered by size, but not necessarily, in order of neighbourliness or cooperation.



LEARNING TO BASE JUMP *

Ladybugs crawl undetected under our exterior door thresholds each Autumn. 

   Once inside the house, they rest awhile to regain their strength, waiting for the cover of nightfall before creeping silently and stealthily into cozy, nesting spots high up in our pine ceiling. They overwinter up there, eating skin dander, dust mites, dead insect debris and probably each other … I would imagine. 


   If you pay attention next time you see one, you’ll realize that ladybugs really don’t fly very well. They have funny little; stubby wings that kind of flick in and out from their shells. This inefficient design only allows for very short, uncontrolled flights. They often fly into obstacles and flip over on their backs … their tiny, little legs wiggling and flicking out in all directions. I imagine it’s very frustrating for them. 


   They also aren’t able to creep along in a downward direction, only up. So, come Spring, they realize they have made a huge strategical error by moving up into the ceiling and, I suppose this frustrates them even more. The strongest and smartest of them that are lucky enough to survive the inadequate diet up there, the constant ‘lady bug’ bickering and the stifling boredom in the ceiling (I mean, what is there to do), and do make it to Spring, will sometimes base jump from high up to the floor below, often en masse … just to be done with the ‘whole friggin ordeal’. I believe the landing makes them angry or possibly they sustain some sort of minor, Ladybug head injury when they hit the floor ... I'm not quite sure. I am convinced their personalities are affected. I've tried to pick them up and move them outside after such a fall - did you know that ladybugs have quite a nasty little bite, especially if  they've survived a head injury!  


I have now decided to stop trying to save them - I just vacuum them up and transport them to the central vacuum canister down in our mechanical room. They appear to like it there and they are very quiet. If you’re thinking this is cruel … don’t … they live on skin dander, dust mites, dead insect debris and other lady bugs down there.

CARPENTRY USED TO BE AN HONOURABLE TRADE

    Ants … I listed ants after ladybugs because our ants are actually quite large. 

I know they're only doing what ants do, but I really don't like them … there, I’ve said it! 

Right now, a particularly nasty looking, genetically modified, growth-hormone induced variety is busy practising their carpentry skills in my wood-fired sauna. I had the help of a few other people, it took me a few dozen hours to build, I invested a bunch of money and these friggin' bugs are slooooooowly chewing it down. They’re munching away at the sub framing somewhere. I've attacked them with poison a couple of times but I think their now, mutated physiologies have made them immune to most over the counter chemicals. The good news is I don’t need to split kindling for the fire anymore - the ants have been quite gracious, they've provided me with a nearby pile of wood dust and shavings for fire starter. 


Fast Forward > September 2014 ... We ended up replacing the window in the sauna. It cracked due to the extremely fast temperature changes that can occur (from +60 C to -30 C) in just a few minutes. Now replaced with tempered glass that can withstand a temperature of 1500 F. When the cracked glass was removed it revealed a large nest of carpenter ants in the lintel area above the window. It seems water had penetrated the sill above and slowly rotted the lintel, which in turn attracted the colony. Well the ants are gone now, killed off with a high dosage of multiple poisons and the framing has been rebuilt to support the new window.


I still hate Ants!!!



IF SATAN WERE AN INSECT *

Deer Flies hatch here, sometime in May or June.

This wetland area we live in is a prime habitat and it produces them in the bazillions. 

Thank gawd, they haven’t discovered us yet and we are still relatively safe down by the house but, we can't safely walk the length of our 1/2 kilometre driveway to get the mail anytime between the months of June and August. Even driving in the truck can be highly stressful – I’ve clocked them at 40 kms / hour on our twisty gravel driveway. Apparently, male Deer Flies have been clocked at 105 kms / hr while in pursuit of females ... it's true Google it! I guess the females are only slightly slower, because there are a lot of baby ones around ... or maybe they just want to get caught!


Driving the drive, these bugs hit the vehicle body panels with such kamikaze-like ferocity that several of the larger ones have left hail-like dimples in the steel. Tip: Check your insurance policies, this is not covered. This concussive pursuit really only just seems to piss them off, stun them slightly and kick their aggression up a notch or two. 


They do seem to be slightly bothered by fuel fumes, so if you're willing to walk around all day revving a chainsaw it may provide some relief!


Anybody who tries to tell you that those silly deer fly strips work is a complete idiot! - they D O N 'T! Helen and I have bee keeper suits on order and the manufacturer has promised us that they will definitely provide the sort of full bodied protection we need. 



FINALLY ..... AN EXPLANATION FOR CROP CIRCLES *

Have you ever seen a queen European Giant Hornet?

... I was only on my first glass of chardonnay, I think, but, I'm not exaggerating when I say this insect was '1/2 the length of an unlit, Cuban cigar' – well ok! maybe it was only 2 inches long – but, that’s still B I G for a bug. It aggressively bombed and buzzed at us while we sat at our side porch a couple of days ago. We had to retreat to the indoor safety of our living room. I suspect she was scouting out a new location for her colony. 

    I understand the presence of these hornets can also signal an advance of Killer Bee infestations. Apparently, these 2 varieties of vespid are genetically quite similar - they will travel together, interbreed and often live together in shared communities. Be aware that the genetically, pure laine variety of this mutant will periodically stalk and sometimes feed on humans ... it's rare, but it does happen! 

    You were waiting for the link to Crop Circles that I promised, weren't you ? ... well, entomologists are currently studying recently reported cases of these giant mutated hornets, observed flying in a clockwise direction while simultaneously hovering and spinning horizontally along several different counter clockwise vectors and, all the while, feeding on poisonous, invisible, flying, albino Argentinian Toads that migrate to breed only once every 400 years, or so, by walking in single file along the ocean floor from South America up the eastern coast of North America, to Canada, where they then make really big hops out of the water and fly, only at night, during daylight savings time, to 1 of only 2  known giant crop circles located at an unknown location somewhere in northern Saskatchewan or maybe Alberta and also to an unspecified number of locations all over the world.

    This characteristic the giant mutated hornets have, of flying clockwise along a horizontal plane while also spinning counter clockwise and  hovering along the axis of their abdomens is apparently a unique ability not recorded in any other animal species yet discovered on Earth. Entomologists have termed the ability ‘plane orbiting’. What is also fascinating about this is that while they are plane orbiting, the hornets also generate tremendous amounts of heat from the action, which they are then able to focus as a weapon and direct at the toads, who in turn become confused and inject themselves with their own poison … in effect committing suicide in vast numbers, where they fall to the ground and dissolve completely. A by-product of all this ‘flying and spinning and buzzing and injecting’ appears to be the formation of large diameter circles that are literally burnt into the ground.

    Another highly respected branch of science, Ufology, has also recently become interested in the phenomenon. Ufologists believe these hornets may actually be visitors from another planet that landed here eons ago and inter-bred with several of the earth’s other vespid species to produce this mutant variety now colonizing nearly every corner of Earth. 

  
ALWAYS ... BANG THE SEAT *

We have Wood Spiders the size of Amazonian Tarantulas living in our outhouse ... A N D, we're afraid to use it!

    One noticeably, obese specimen, that prefers to live under outhouse the seat, is so large and abnormally heavy that it sometimes takes two of us to lift and bang the seat back down in order to safely prepare ourselves for sitting (yes, there is no ‘h’ in sitting) and pondering.

    Another individual recently escaped from the outhouse or it may have jumped on my back while I was cutting firewood, I'm not sure - I have a faint memory of sensing a weight change on my left shoulder, but that’s probably just my imagination. It somehow found its way into our bedroom closet, likely by crawling out of my work clothes. Helen first noticed it squeezing itself under the closet door - she said it was so large she could see the guard hairs on its back bend slightly as it moved under the door bottom. She swears that it looked straight at her and stared ....... she instinctively knew to look away. 

    Helen has had courses in aggressive animal behaviour, particularly in bear country and she knows to not try and stare a grizzly down. She applied that same knowledge here and I believe it may have saved her life. Unfortunately, we haven't seen it since. It's been several days now and we're convinced it's still in the house somewhere. We've each taken to sleeping with a canister of bear spray on the night stands next to us - trigger locks removed. Spiders are silent predators you know.  


WHO SAYS FROGS ARE ENDANGERED ?

The Spring Peepers and Northern Tree Frogs are so prolific in the woodland ponds beside our house that we can't leave our windows open at night.

    Once they're done with their incessant, spring time rituals of courtship and breeding and squealing and eeking and plopping, they leave the stage for the big bull frogs that still, thankfully reside mostly down by the lake. Their deep croaking and late night belches have actually put a hair line crack on one of our bathroom windows. 

    We had a cute little tree frog take up residence inside our clothes pin box. We named her 'Peg', get it? - Peg. Anyway, Peg ‘frog pees’ on us whenever we try and move her from her new home. I think Peg feels bad about this behaviour though. She tried to make it up to Helen the other day by kissing her, yup - Helen reached into the clothes pin box and Peg launched herself onto Helens cheek with a big tree frog type smack. Helen has always wanted to kiss a frog ... stroke that off the bucket list.


BALLERINAS

The Hummingbirds practise mid-air manoeuvres and mock air battles as close to us as possible.

   I think they use us as training objects or obstacles or something.  It seems to be working for them so far... they haven't collided with us yet, but they have touched wings a few times.

    Never wear any brightly coloured flower like a motif or drawing on clothing during hummer season. They will attempt to milk sweet nectar from just about anything and they get quite perturbed when they discover that you are a fake. A tiny, chattering bird, with a 2 inch proboscis hovering directly in front of your eyes, that can dart around at Mach 4 speed can be quite unnerving.

    One day we witnessed an unusual display by the hummers. Instead of quickly darting and chasing each other we watched as two birds spiralled upwards in a corkscrew fashion, around each other and very slowly. They then dropped a few feet and repeated the upward movement. They did this a few more times then flew away in different directions. A few days later we saw the same behaviour, but this time with an additional manoeuvre near the end. The birds coupled quickly and violently, went into free fall entwined, tumbled to the roof of our firewood shed 5 feet below and almost as quickly they separated and flew off, once again in opposite directions. Wow! We googled this and learned that we had just witnessed Hummingbirds mating.


LUCKY WINS THE LOTTERY

The Mice continue to scale the walls of our castle.

    They find entry points where they can plan their late night gluten-induced, scratching and scurrying parties. They have broken through all our barricades - the vent screening, the airtight caulking, the solid masonry stone exterior - I have no idea where they are getting in and I don't care any more! Helen has documented the capture and (mostly) humane live trap release of over 100 now. Did you know that mice are sexually mature after 6 weeks and that 1 female can produce 60 offspring a year! 

    I must have been delirious … I thought at one time that I might let Lucky #100 stay, but after he / she woke me up at 3:15 am, rattling and banging in the trap I changed my mind. At this writing (April 02, 2012) we’re at #102 ……… and counting.

Fast Forward > July 2013 ... Eureka! I may have found their entry point! I suspect they may bet getting through where the irregular edges on the top stone course of the buildings exterior, meets the soffit. I have gone around the complete house and caulked the majority of this area. There were a few places where they would have been able to pass. I hired a contractor to get to the very high areas at the tops of the gables. Since developing vertigo a few years ago I can no longer get up an a ladder over about 20 feet. Problem solved ... as of September 2014, we have now gone over 14 months mouse free! Maybe we got LUCKY.


BLIND AS A MOLE

We have a Mole, or maybe it's a family of moles that live at the end of our driveway between the gate posts.

   The ongoing, under-the-gravel trench that they have constructed is so deep that I frequently need to engage 4x4 on the Toyota to cross in and out of our property. 

    Moles are blind and I suspect quite stupid. Why does a mole cross the highway? Not for the same reason as chickens, that’s for sure …. it’s because they’re stupid!  Come on, they’re blind, they can’t see, how would they even know if they were on the other side.

    I imagine mole populations must experience growth bursts like some other wildlife species do. I say this because we had one year when there seemed to be tunnels everywhere we looked. They can make quite a mess to pathways. They sleep all day in their subterranean homes, scheming about where to dig next. I've tried to deter them from establishing their colonies in area where I don't want them. I've plugged entry holes with large rocks - they just dig a new entry. I've poured 'stinky' liquids like bleach around the entrance - they move somewhat and dig a new entry. I saw one of the larger Black Rat Snakes squeeze down a mole hole ... maybe Nature will solve the problem for me.

FOR THE BIRDS *

All the Birds … even the ones we feed, poop on our washing on the clothesline, our vehicles our boats and our ceramic cooker - sometimes when in use and periodically on us – whenever and as often as they can, it seems.

    Eastern Phoebes are particularly annoying. Did you know that you can pull a phoebe nest down as many as 14 times and they'll still try to rebuild it – I know, I've done it. I believe they're even stupider than robins if that's possible. This year alone, they have attempted to build nests on top of other, older nests, on tops of light finials that are so small a young, tree frog would have a problem trying to perch on, and at the end of a canoe paddle. I found a starter nest inside my firewood shed on top of the discarded skin of a very large rat snake. I can't wait to see where they try to build next year!

    A Yellow Warbler insisted … and persisted in attacking a reflection of itself on our big, high, living room window for close to a week this year. I thought it was going to die of exhaustion. I tried to shoo it away. It would dive bomb and peck at the glass relentlessly, for hours, then rest for only a few minutes, then return for several more hours. It only did this as long as it could see its own reflection - so really only for about 16 hours a day when it was light outside. 

    Barred Owls role play during breeding sessions? I  .. A M ..  N O T  kidding - they pretend to be other animals. I know, I know … it sounds weird. The male likes to pretend he is a dog and will give off barking sounds; the female pretends to be a cat and will emit mewing sounds. It is very unsettling to listen to a dog and a cat up in a tree in the woods late at night, in darkness, yapping and purring at each other ……….. especially if you are alone and have only had one glass of Chardonnay … I think. 
Moral: Never drink alone, but if you do, drink a lot!

    Pileated Woodpeckers bore holes so large in our trees that some of the local ground-hogs and resident, young raccoons have taken to using them as dens. This confuses the woodpecker when it returns because it’s expecting to find that insects have moved into the holes it has created, not fur-bearing rodents.

    We have stone ledges at about 25 feet above grade on a couple of our exterior walls. They are flat, about 6 inches deep and would protect baby birds from predators and the elements. A nesting pair of American Robins decided to build at both locations, simultaneously this year. I spent 7 friggin weeks doing battle - blasting leaves, sticks, mud, thread, feathers, seeds, goose poop and flowers from the ledges, often twice each day. I duct taped 6 wooden poles totalling 30 feet long and attached a garden hose with a downward hook at the end. Try and hold 30 lbs vertically at a height of 30 feet - not easy. I would climb a ladder with this apparatus, and position it just above the starter nest. Helen would turn the water on and I’d hose debris from the ledge. What was quite alarming is that the Robins would often watch us as we worked and no sooner was the ledge washed off than they would begin re-building once again. They did win ... I never did deter them with this method. Eventually, bird spikes caulked to the ledges have solved the problem for the moment.  I did watch a medium sized Rat Snake (4 footer) climb the wall one day and it was near the nest area. If the spikes don’t work I'm sure the Rat Snake would be a back-up solution.

    The Canada Geese that breed and raise a family each year on our wetland lake foul our camp-site area so badly with their slippery turds, that we need to wear our white-water paddling footwear to cautiously and safely navigate our way to and from the wine station during camp-fire cook-outs. 

    One of my neighbours, whose identity, (CARY DARK)won’t be protected, sent me a picture of a Giant Condor that he swears he spotted perching on a tree in a DARK, shady spot on the far shore of our small lake (remember, we're in Ontario not PERU or California) - I don’t believe this story - I suspect the photo was downloaded from the internet - it’s a little too DARK and too out of focus. I have also heard rumours that this particular neighbour has been spotted, deep inside the bowels of his DARK, windowless, concrete walled art studio snacking on tubes of DARK yellow acrylic paint while deeply engrossed in mind altering sessions of self-imposed creativity. Who knows what affect sucking on too many different shades of yellow paint, while playing only 6 different single-stringed bass notes, over and over, in the DARK, could have on a person. O

A REAL LIFE EXPERIMENT IN CLONING

Chipmunks are everywhere around here .... I estimate their numbers to be in the 1000s, maybe the tens of 1000s.

They leap on Helen, expecting treats, often 2 at a time, while she sits at the porch. I have watched chipmunks chase each other across her, trying to grab peanuts from each other. I have watched them pee on her while she hands them a peanut - this seems to be mostly a male thing though. 

    They dig holes the size of Clydesdale hoofs and tunnels as deep as underground oil deposits all over our property. Recently they've taken to whipping acorns at us from high up in the oak trees. I now wear my chainsaw hard-hat continuously around the property.

    Chipmunks are also extremely horny little rodents. They have quite voracious sexual appetites. They are voyeuristic and will often engage in blatant amorous displays. I'm convinced it's not a coincidence that most of their breeding sessions happen during our dinner hours on the porch. They prefer to have sex in our aromatic herb gardens right next to the porch, in full sight of us …. often cavorting (not to be confused with coupling) with each other over and over and under and through the plants. - we no longer eat any of the herbs we grow. 

    They like tomatos too, but they will never eat all of a tomato - they only like to take one small bite out of every tomato. I think they learned this skill from the deer, because deer do the same thing..... as do the racoons, the birds .............. 


I'M NOT AS SMART AS A SQUIRREL

The Squirrels crap on our window ledges and bang at our windows searching for food.

    One of the older female Gray Squirrel has taken to regularly introducing her new babies to us so that they know all the best places to shop. We have become a food source.

    One small Red Squirrel has developed a substantial 'Napoleon Complex' - without a word of a lie, we have witnessed this guy charging and diving at wild turkeys while they eat at the feeders.... and successfully scaring them off. 


SNAKES

We have a healthy population of Eastern Rat Snakes.

   Field guides will tell you they are Canada’s largest snake and that they can reach lengths of 7 feet or so - I think this may be underplaying the size just a bit. I'm tired of being startled by them. Do you know what it's like to walk into a dark garage and reach for a light switch behind a door and to then be looking at a baby one of only about 3 feet long resting on a shelf 1 foot away? Do you know what it's like to pull the tarp back that covers a pile of firewood kindling and have one stare back at you with a head the size of a young otter? 

    We also have Eastern Fox snakes on the property, second only in size to the eastern rat snake. One of these beautifully coloured fellows helped us out one day by hunting mice inside our fireplace firebox. I think it slithered in through the fresh air intake - I have since placed smaller squared screening over the vent. The unfortunate mouse it caught is included in the statistic of mostly humane live trap capture that I mentioned earlier. I was able to cover the snake with a towel and release it outside. Shhhhh!, don’t anyone tell Margo that snakes can sometimes find their way inside a house. One of my other neighbours, who I can’t mention here, but who lives closer to Margo than we do, has photographic evidence of a rat snake trying to turn the door knob at the back of their house. This scares the bejeezuz out of me! Lesson: Always latch your doors at night.

    And talk about aggressive.... I witnessed a just-hatched baby Garter snake ...  try to visualize this now … picture an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny cobra, 1 and a half inches long, hissing and flicking its tongue out and striking at the toe of my work boot ... scary!


   We have also recorded sightings of the following snakes ... Green Grass, Red-Bellied, Northern Ribbon, and Water.


RELENTLESS NESTERS

The Turtles try and nest behind our truck tires …

 … in our flower beds, in the middle of the driveway in numerous locations, on tops of sand piles and gravel piles ......... everywhere but down in the lake area where turtles belong. 

    I tried to move a big snapper one morning that was excavating a beach ball sized hole behind our truck. When I gingerly picked her up to move her, she spun her head around, in an Exorcist like fashion, hissed at me and deposited a stream of foul smelling, fishy pee down the front of my leg. 

    One scarred up old gal insists every season on pulling the rock wall down from around our front porch. I believe she wants to build a nest under our front door somewhere. Snapping turtles can live for 150 years or so and will return to the same nesting spots each year, regardless of whether a 2 storey house with a 50’ x 50’ footprint has been erected over her spot …. or not! So far she has only succeeded in tumbling boulders onto herself, tipping herself over and getting pinned ... of course I rescue her and she thanks me by hissing and peeing and returning next year.


A CURE *

I am convinced there are Skunks around.

   I have not seen them, but I have smelled them. At least, I assume it was a skunk I smelt?? ... but, ya know, it could also have been that relatively rare, northern albino variety of the Alabama Barking Spider. I don’t think they are related to those Wood Spiders I reported on in the spring ... the ones that live in our outhouse, but who knows.

   Evidence of the barking spider’s existence this far north is only anecdotal, but, they have been rumoured to be living along the Frontenac Axis, possibly even here in the Tim’s Lake vicinity. 

   This Canadian relative of the much darker Alabama variety is said to be able to withstand much colder temperatures and can survive outside during the winter for several months in a state of semi-hibernation, without much food, preferring to be suspended upside down from the underside of toilet seats, by one leg, with only one eye open. Ultra-sensitive guard hairs encircle that one eye and give the spider an almost other-worldly ability to sense odoriferous, temperature and lighting changes that signal the presence of nearby prey.

   
They are often described as having a tarantula-like appearance. The female of the species is much more dangerous than the male and apparently (much like the human female... I am told), will only flatulate (or bark) a couple of times a year. Fast, squeaky, little barking sounds - hardly noticeable. However, the gaseous flatulate cloud emitted is only visible using a Government Issue, Level 18.9, Version 6 Spectomographameterascope. Invisible to the human eye but stunningly potent, it can clear a Brazilian soccer stadium in Guinness record time and has been known to resurrect the dry tear ducts of a corpse.


   Apparently, the Vancouver Police Force has begun testing small samples of it for crowd control following NHL games. Early tests indicate sub particulate, microscopic secondary substances obtained as breakaway flywheel spinners may also yield the world’s first safe hallucinogenic recreational drug, but, the really exciting news is that high potency doses anally induced, appear to have the potential for curing human stupidity.


THEY'RE NOT CUTE ... THEY'RE NASTY!!

The Racoons have figured out how to lift the doors on our composters and drag decaying food around.

   They relentlessly attack our bird feeders, working as a team to coordinate new and innovative ways of beating any deterrent or guard I invent. Once successful, they deposit multiple berry and seed laden scat nearby so that I am reminded of who is really in control. They fight with themselves (really) and violently with each other any time their paths cross - sometimes over food sharing, but mostly just for the hell of it. They share a number of characteristics with humans.


CASTOR ANNOYINGUS

The Beavers .......... well, we are at war.

   We should all consider ourselves lucky to have our neighbour Howard. He has willingly, spear-headed an aggressive military-like campaign to eradicate this fat rodent. We have all been conscripted as soldiers. Howards past experience and thankless dedication, his expert knowledge and impeccable research into anti beaver building strategies have so far, kept the problem curtailed, for the most part.

   But, much more needs to be done. He recently led several of us on a deep woods firearms course and taught us some of the skills required for closer combat. Wrapping trees with wire has not helped; dispatching trappers is only a band aid solution. I suspect the next level of aggression on our part may be more along the lines..... of shock and awe!


FRESH WATER SEALS

The Otters have now moved up from the lake …

… and have been spotted spending time investigating new and foreign lands - our woodland ponds. Much like the crew of the Starship Enterprise, they are on a quest to seek out new places to colonize and species to conquer. Hopefully, they’ll hang around until next year’s crop of spring peepers ‘fires up’. Betcha there’ll be a little less peeping and a little more squeaking!


NOTHING SMELLS WORSE 

… Well, OK! … Maybe Barking Spiders

As I write this, we have 2 Porcupines feasting in the big white oak next to our bedroom.

   They've been there most of the night, actually for the last few nights. Nipping branches off, throwing acorns onto our roof and at the windows........ periodically squealing and squeaking. I think porcupines can multi-task and will engage in multiple acts of a sexual nature, with multiple porcupine partners … while they eat.

    The big oak is in stress now ...... most of its new growth is stripped off and trunk bark is lying in a heap around her base - she may not survive the winter. Update: Helen tells me there is a third porcupine up the oak tree now........ I guess we have a herd. 


   We have close to 25 acres here with probably 50 oak trees on it and these buggers have chosen the one that is closest to our bedroom. Our porcupines are very healthy - they are fat and sturdy, with wonderful sleek, dark fur – beautiful animals. We are going to sleep downstairs in the basement for a while.


    Talk about a foul odour from these guys. They pee on each other and they don’t come down from the tree. 

   American porcupines are just as annoying as Canadian porcupines. On a recent trip to Asheville, NC, we found out just how much. There is a wide hedgerow of massive Oaks at the edge our campsite.  The trees canopy over and provide shade. The acorns are ripe for the harvest. Squirrels gather them throughout the day. Porcupines however, are night foragers and don’t seem to have the same paw dexterity as the squirrels ... they drop a lot of acorns. When an acorn hits the roof of our camper from a height of 50 feet or so it sounds like a rifle crack. I’m starting to think that maybe, Porcupines DO have good paw dexterity and that ‘flinging acorns at the truck camper people’ just provides them with mealtime entertainment.

  
THE BIG BAD WOLF

The Brush Wolves wake us up at night 'howling at the moon'.

   They even howl at the moon when the moons not out or when it’s behind the clouds or when it’s orbiting in another hemisphere. They wander the property teaching the pups how to hunt and of course howl, but mostly they teach them how to poop at the same spot on our driveway - over and over and over and over and over again!


BAMBI

The Deer don't eat the jalapeno or habanero peppers from our garden ...

.... but they have demolished our crops of other peppers, tomato’s and a bunch of herbs, they’ve eaten hostas to the ground and nibbled on the tops of berry bushes all around the house. They sneak around in the early morning hours or at night, when the light is dim. I often hear hoof sounds on our porches and a couple of times I'm sure I've heard the sound of a door knob being jiggled. Deer are sneaky animals. Repeat Lesson: Always latch your doors at night.


COULD CROSS BREEDING BE A DANGEROUS THING?

I haven't seen any Elk around yet …

… but I understand they've been yarding up with our local white-tailed deer - it's only a matter of time before we see one. Elk have a wonderful, high pitched, bleating call that is very effective for communicating with other elk in high alpine regions and I imagine it would be effective around here too - it would sure confuse some of our local emergency vehicle drivers. Would a bull elk breed with an ambulance -  I am not sure ........ but, it’s food for thought. I understand we only have a single animal around here so I imagine it would if it got lonely enough.


OMG … A BEAR

I haven't seen the Black Bear yet either, but it has pooped on our driveway and I've found fur clumps.

   Mavis & Colin, across the lake, have provided us with photographic evidence of the bear in their backyard..... hmmmm! I wonder if their bear photo comes from the same source as that giant condor photo I mentioned earlier. Come to think of it, the bear in that photo had very dark fur.... hmmmmm!. 


UNGULATE

And the old timers tell stories of seeing the odd Moose 

… wandering around these parts from time to time. Can you just imagine the fun a moose could have around here ..................... especially an odd one?


I have recently erected an Inukshuk high on a rock near our waterfront. 

The Inukshuk is known to the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic as a representation of man - it literally means ' In the Likeness of Man '. 

I will leave this Inukshuk here, when we are gone, as a reminder to all that come after us that we were here and we tried to stay, but we were out-numbered..

I wish all remaining survivors the best of luck ............ fight the good fight!

Crusty ... reporting!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments, suggestions, observations and even opinions are welcome ... please leave yours!
TEAM: LOAF, Crummy, Wry & Crusty