I don’t know about you but since Elsa paid us a visit on July 7th, I have had an over-abundance of wildlife critters in and around my yard and sometimes in my house. The entrance to my subdivision, including three homes, were flooded by Elsa’s heavy torrential rains. I was shanghaied and unable to partake of the “outside” world for four days as I watched the water slowly recede into a super-saturated earth. Thankfully, my home was high enough, farther up the street, and outside the inundation of water.
But back to the critters. My first notice of a slight change in my own little ecosystem involved some herbs I had planted in pots near my back porch, dill to be specific. Each day I puzzled how instead of getting bushier, they were getting thinner so I at last took a closer look and discovered caterpillars on three of the stems, eastern black swallowtails, a friend in the know told me.
After they devoured every last feathery green leaf of the dill, they went on to my parsley but were sated before the plant was stripped. This was on July 10th.
And then, on August 28th, I managed to snap a phone shot of this little guy on my
penta plant. I think it posed just for me.
As I understand it, most people plant butterfly gardens especially for this process but my butterflies came by chance of Elsa I think.
I also have had sightings of two black racers (snakes). One caught me by surprise as I opened my porch door to step outside. It “raced” under my foot trying to get away from the huge thing coming at it! Now I am careful to rattle the door before opening it. Before I was widowed all these wildlife problems would have been out of my range of responsibility, but now I have had to “brave up” and take care of things myself. Snakes always scared me and I would be lying to say they do not scare me now, but it is a different level of scared and with a little reading and understanding, I realize I need to share this planet whenever possible. My mantra has become “if you don’t bother me, I won’t bother you”.
Wasps also have invaded my space more than usual since Elsa, the paper kind and maybe some yellow jackets. I have tried to dissuade them from coming into my porch by spraying peppermint (a web thing) but they are diligent and keep hanging around. I have decided to wait for cold weather. Again, my mantra.
Yesterday, another critter came to visit. As I made my way to the kitchen to start breakfast, my eyes lit on the intruder sitting below a rocking chair in my family room, not a frog but a toad, and how he got in is a mystery. I got my broom and thought I might herd him out the door but he was too fast and scooted under another chair out of sight. I went to the web and discovered an upside down bucket with a cover slid under it (I used a pan splatter screen) was the solution but it took me almost two hours to catch the little devil. It did work though and he is happily back to roaming the outside world again.
Don’t let anyone tell you days of retirement are uneventful. Each morning brings a new surprise and keeps me on my toes for which I am very thankful. All creatures are here for a reason and have as much right to be here as I do. Taking the life of any creature is a thing I desperately try not to do...except mosquitoes, that is.