A recent editorial blog entry described in vivid detail the return home, after months on the road, to discover cute, fuzzy members of the animal kingdom taking residence in a Tucson house and backyard. No doubt attempting to qualify for the first-time home buyer tax credit, or the all-you-can-eat D-Con buffet.
Our situation became the mirror opposite. The old trailer had sat in repose, behind a corn crib and shaded by a silver maple, stoically awaiting our return from four months of summer cabin life.
The initial entry into the Excella was a buzz; literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of yellow jackets welcomed me back, with gusto. Enduring three stings, above the left eye, now swollen shut, the next trip is not to the ER, not to the pharmacy for a fresh Epi-Pen, but to the local hardware store.
Josh, the owner’s son, extends a polite welcome, “yo, one eye, you looking for plumbers putty to stop those tears ?”.
“No, you little…(rhymes with twit), direct me to the Auschwitz for Airstream aisle.”
“Pronto, Tonto”, he replied.
An hour later, in beekeeper garb, I re-enter to set off two bombs of….drum roll….The Fumigator.
In 24 hours the crisis is over. I’ve got that macho Schwarzenegger swagger, somewhere between the governator and the terminator, as the toxic slime has rendered the foreign invaders deep-sixed or staggering like drunken sailors.
Now here’s a tip, a Phred Sez, or hint from Heloise; close your roof exhaust vent completely before departing on an extended leave. The yellow jackets had created a paper pulp nest, the size of a Little League catcher’s mitt, between the roof opening and the screen. It took less than an hour to hand vacuum and fill a bag with the deceased critters. Death to the invaders.
One week later it is time to winterize the unit and prepare the barn for winter trailer storage.
Since 1881, home to creatures great and small
All too familiar with raccoons, possums, and groundhogs as frequent guests, I discover we have new friends, the homeliest and unloved of mammals, frequent fliers, especially at night, yes, bats. Guano evidence everywhere.
They are really not too bad, as they devour their weight in mosquitoes and gnats. However, this results in many bat bowel movements, which are a mixture of both urine and excrement, and when dried, resemble dark brown wild rice. The bottom line is this, we must learn to live and die with nature.
And let’s dispense with the jive whining about a couple of mice and and a few furry prairie dogs. Get over it.
Tonight for dinner, Lynn announces, pork stir-fry on a bed of (eek !) rice pilaf.