Mother Nature Pushes The Limit
October 3, 2013
When my husband and I purchased our home 17 years ago it was everything I wanted: nice size private wooded lot, koi pond, hardwood floors, three fireplaces, balconies, French doors, galley kitchen, big windows and a windowless basement where we could seek shelter during storms if needed. It is an island unto itself sitting on a little foothill within the city limits of Hudson; hence we have the benefits of city water, sewer, and natural gas, which is nice.
Every season brings beauty to the place. However, we have learned if you if you live in the woods you must adapt to Mother Nature for it is she who rules our little domain. We’ve had huge trees and limbs twist and snap off during several seasons of weird, stormy weather. Indeed, I have found myself sequestered in the basement with our two dogs and a flash light with extra batteries more than once. There’s a huge old oak tree right by the entrance to our storm shelter so if it ever succumbs to the winds and falls on the house we may be trapped in our underground lair for a while. We are prepared for that . . . I hope!
In the spring the birds nest in that old oak tree and acorns fall like rain in the fall. We try to avoid that area in autumn lest we be pummeled by the nuts that provide a grand buffet for our local squirrels. You have squirrels anywhere you have trees but ours seem to be a regiment of rodents led by some unknown high commander. We’ve gotten used to their illicit activities such as raiding the birdfeeders and teasing our small dog that goes berserk every time he sees one.
One year, when we actually had a cold winter, the koi pond froze completely over, thereby suffocating all our fish. The following spring it was tragic to peer into the pond, looking for signs of life and finding not one trace of the 15 or so fish we had before winter.
Mother Nature By ChewBaccaSauce
We had to restock the pond with newbies. The raccoons have been uninterested in our golden gems, but they are happy to belly up to any dish of dog food that has been left on the porch. We have had to humanely trap and relocate these critters a couple of times.
We’ve had a flying squirrel come down the chimney and there was a chipmunk living in the drain at the outside door of the basement for a while. I guess he wasn’t too fond of our Labrador trying to sniff him out so he vamoosed and a toad frog moved in.
Yep, you have to get used to reptilian creatures where we live. Summertime brings out little lizards that like to scurry across the porch and up the sides of the house and, recently, our resident black snake shed its skin in the bushes by the driveway. I know there’s been a black snake hanging out in the dense evergreen shrubbery by the house, I just don’t want to meet him personally! I am happy to say that he’s doing his job as we don’t seem to have any mice. So, according to my husband, the snake can stay. (Although I really think I could tolerate the mice without the benefit of their predator, Mr. Black Snake!)
I have graciously endured all the things Mother Nature has brought our way but the coup de gras was a recent invasion of bees. The vicious insects found a tiny hole between the fascia board and soffit of the house this summer and whiled away their days feverishly building a nest.
Unbeknownst to me, I walked into the bathroom after a long workday to be greeted by a swarm of bees flying all around me. They had bored a hole right through the sheetrock of the ceiling. Ack! Ack! Ack! Double Ack! I got the heck out of Dodge and slammed the door behind me. I’m allergic to bee stings. I called for my hubby to come quick. “What? What? What is it?” he said. “Whatever it is Levi didn’t do it.”
Levi is our Lab who posts a lookout at the bathroom window every week day afternoon watching for me to come home from work. Sometimes he’ll unintentionally topple over a potted plant due to his size.
This problem was far greater than a toppled African violet. The hubby took a look, uttered a choice word or two, and quickly slammed the door. He’s allergic to bee stings also. Immediately we began to ponder our options. Two large cans of Raid later the bees are gone but we are still left with a hole in the sheet rock that will have to be made much larger to retrieve the nest.
Here’s the question: Would I live anywhere else? Nah, no way, I love our home, but I need to have a serious chat with old Mother Nature about the object of this game she’s playing and request she keep the critters outside the house so the humans and the dogs can live peacefully on the inside.