Thursday, August 05, 2004

August 5, 2004

I haven’t had too much time to observe nature in the backyard—been too busy observing nature in the house with our two new kittens. Anyway, a brief update: the monsoon has so far been a bust. Less than an inch total at the airport, and probably even less here (my new rain gauge has hardly gotten any work at all). It’s humid, the clouds build up, and then nothing happens. A friend of mine has described this nonfunctional sort of monsoon as “the dry heaves.” The sunsets, however, have been glorious.

For the last four days, Mr. Pack Rat and sons have been trapping pack rats and removing and sanitizing nests. Also rat-proofing the structures they had lived in, like the workbench in the carport and the shed behind it. This morning they are back at work, in the back of the house, where the cactus is really thick. Most of the rats had been trapped. When I went to add water to the spa, I noticed that the trap by the heater contained a very young, very scared pack rat. I was able to get a close look at it. It was sandy-colored, with dark shoe-button eyes and a shortish little quivering nose. It was actually very cute, about half the size of the one I’d seen in the workbench. A little bigger than our youngest kitten. (My husband did not think it was cute.) Much less scary-looking than Norwegian rats.

The poor little thing will soon be euthanized, with gas, but I’m sure that’s much better than bleeding internally for several days from rat poison.

Our spa is so gunked with algae we’re paying someone to clean it. I’m not sure what to do about the pond. Still thinking about that one. I haven’t seen any new interesting birds or bugs for several days, but I’m sure they’re around. That is one of the great things about living up here. I’m beginning to understand why foothills living has always been touted as so desirable. Another thing is that the sky and the views are way more spacious—every time I walk out in the yard, or drive to or from the house, I see breathtaking beauty, whether it’s clouds and cloud shadows on the mountains, or a sunlit pastel desertscape. I am a very blessed person, packrats, scorpions, and all.

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