The season is rapidly changing from summer to fall. One minute the ash tree had a few turning leaves, the next it’s nearly bare. The hazels have had their day and now race to see who will drop the last leaf first. Rain is on the way and that’s sure to speed things up. I predict a monsoon the instant the oaks look best. Last night we had freezing temperatures and there was frost on the lawn. I don’t mind freezing overnight temperatures this time of year. It changes the oak leaves red and heralds the end of the mosquitoes and ticks that stole the joy from my backyard for nearly the entire summer.
That’s not to say I don’t have my plagues. The window wells will soon be wriggling with amphibians that have to be relocated. Many’s the winter where we had to keep a terrarium of guests until spring because the last critters weren’t discovered until the ground was frozen. The mice have come inside and eaten the acorns my daughter brought home from one of her walks last night. War will be waged starting tonight, but I live in a country farmhouse. I know I’ll never win.
I can’t express how I hate killing things that just want to survive on my dime. I have my June ants, my September salamanders. I leave them all alone and they eventually stop coming in. I once saw a fox snake, a two foot long fox snake, slip under my refrigerator. Where it went from there I can’t say. I never found it dead or alive! Sometime in the near future, I’ll post about the odder animals who’ve come into my house uninvited. Sometimes when I tell people about them, my own words are hard to believe, but every word is true. Muskrat in the bedroom, really?? I’ll save this tale for another day. I might write a book!
Those blasted ladybug mimics are out en masse. The real ladybugs come out in the spring. These Asian monsters appear at the end of summer. My family thinks I’m crazy for hunting them with my ruler and cup of dish soap and water — my tools of the trade. (I tap them with the ruler and they fall into the soapy water and die.) Yes, I know, this statement just contradicted the last paragraph. I just really loathe these things in the house. They stink, they bite, they cluster like a nightmare in the corners of the ceiling, and because I write under a ceiling light, they bombard me. There’s nothing worse than having them drop on you, especially when they get inside your shirt and bite. Or you discover one in your hair and it leaves that nasty acrid stink behind. Ick.
I saw something quite cool yesterday, a praying mantis hunting on our garage door. The box elder beetles are emerging now and this consummate hunter was snatching them as they landed within “arm’s reach”. Their front legs unfold and *wham* munch munch munch. It’s funny. I found it while out walking the dogs midday and planned to show my husband when he came home from work. He came home, opened the door, and said, “Come outside quick, there’s something I want to show you!” I said, “Is it the praying mantis on the garage door?” He said, “yes.”
🙂 Boy do we know what the other finds interesting. One year I asked him to bring a praying mantis in the house. That’s not as odd as it sounds. Not odd at all as far as people who know me are concerned. lol In some countries a house mantis is kept to eat roaches and whatnot. Asian ladybug mimics being eaten by a pet praying mantis is a very appealing thought. The poor man picked one up in his bare hands and walked it back to the house. Along the way, it bit the heck out of him. I never did get my house mantis.
Coming tomorrow October 16th —
the International Blog Action Day.
Currently 1, 717 bloggers from 124 countries and 26 languages are working together to highlight the topic of Human Rights. Follow this link to join in on this extremely important discussion: http://blogactionday.org/register-to-take-part/
I’m participating in the Trifecta this week, trying to capture the sense of a story in exactly 99 words.
*New* Exquisite Quills on Twitter
“What I feel for you seems less of earth and more of a cloudless heaven.”
author Liz Crowe. She’s talking up her upcoming Stewart Realty series finale — Good Faith. I’m hosting her today on two of my blogs as a matter of fact.
Win prizes on the RB4U website. Find those blinking ghosts. 🙂
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We’re just about ready to go to print on the Exquisite Quills Holiday Anthology. It’s looking fabulous. 🙂
and coming this month…