Monday, June 2, 2014

Signs of Summer's Beginning

A few nights ago, after we were tucked in, Artemis started barking. She usually barks for one of three reasons. Reason 1: there is some being (human, neighborhood cat, unfamiliar dog, skunk)) lurking near the front door (or knocking). Reason 2: there is some being (human, stray cat, the neighbors dog - or rather any dog she can see from our deck which could include the dogs walking along the side street 3 houses away- or skunk). Reason 3: someone is playing with her.  

Since I was fairly certain reason 3 wasn't encouraging her commotion, I had Pete get up and see what was going on. He stumbled around in the dark a bit and came back mumbling something about our cat. That was enough to let me fall asleep peacefully. 

The next morning, I got up with the baby and found a huge, 2 inch cockroach dead in my living room. I now think Artemis, being slightly blind, could hear the thing rustling about but was unable to catch it in the dark. No worries. It seemed thoroughly dead as it was just lying there on the carpet. 

I do want to pause and say a bit about me and bugs. I don't particularly care for them. This fear is mostly based on ignorance, something I am working to change, and the visceral shock of things flying at my face or scurrying over my feet.

 When I moved to Texas a few years ago, I was warned about the bird-sized Mosquitos, the massive grasshoppers and the giant roaches. I was told it wasn't a matter of IF we got roaches but more about WHEN and knowing who to call. In my time here, I have seen 3 roaches in my house (counting the star of this story). All in May. All huge. All quickly dead. The first was in my kitchen and scared me to death. We then proceeded with a spring cleaning like you can only imagine and the purchase of roach traps. The second was seen scurrying down the hall as i opened the door to let the dog out. Fortunately, there was a chicken in hot pursuit. This year's roach sighting was a little more animated.

My first thought after determining there was truly a roach in the house, was how to get it outside to a chicken. I had the baby and didn't particularly want to risk trying to catch it, cauung it to come back to life and just disappear. (Fear based on ignorance triggers more unnecessary fears.) So I went out for my trusted friendly chicken, Ferdy. She's always trying to come in the house anyway. Time for a treat! 
She's an easy one to wrangle, our Ferdy. Almost like a lovable kitten. With talons. Those two weeks bandaged in our tub made her quite the cuddler! So I scoop her up in one arm while holding the baby on my opposite hip and bring her into the house. I set her near the roach, but she's too distracted by being inside to notice. She wanders off to my room to chat with her reflection in my mirrored closet door as i grab a handful of birdseed. I get the bird, set her back near the roach and sprinkle seed on the carpet, clucking like i do anytime I'm distributing treats. She goes for the seeds, sees the roach, and crunches it down fast! After I let her get the seeds out of my carpet, I take her back outside to an audience of the other birds. You could almost see Ferdy strut out, boasting about her awesome trip to the indoor cockroach bar.

 In retrospect, I should've grabbed another bird who isn't hellbent on sneaking in the backdoor whenever possible, but she was the one I knew I could trust to save me from having to touch that nasty thing! So much for not encouraging behavior I don't want or not allowing habits I'll have to break later! 

 I have come to call these intimate moments with nature my Spring Roach Sighting and they serve as a sign the hot season has started. Time for beings to find a cool place to move before the mercury really spikes. I honestly can't blame them. The summers here are brutal!

 Emagene's friends graduated from   preschool, we took a trip to the city pool and we had a Roach Sighting. Summer is definitely upon us!

What non-calendar ways do you have for noticing the seasonal change?

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