November 4th, 2018

blackhat

Critters and claw and fang

Saturday morning worries. First i found something had pushed up an air vent and insulation into the kitchen. This is like two years ago when something pushed up an air vent. WHAT IS UNDER THE HOUSE???? The cats all ate their kibble with their backs to the wall -- i can't help but believe that was out of wariness.

Then Edward the Cat* brought a vole into the bed and ate it on my side. Argh, we'd just changed the sheets. And it's the new sheets. I suppose it was better than releasing the vole next to the dozing Christine and having it crawl on her.

Between the vent and the vole within the same hour i think Christine's nerves were shot early in the day. I think someone was working on a camera controlled cat door system that denied cats access if they were carrying something in their mouth. It's seeming like a great idea.

I was joined by my mother and niece to have breakfast at a fundraiser for the county historical society. Afterwards we drove a bit in the country and checked out a place that i had hoped would have seasonal wreaths made of real greenery, but no. The morning light was lovely though, and i think i identified a nice view of a farm.

Later Christine, carry and i drove a little over an hour north to pick up apple trees. Near the tree place we passed some sort of dive bar that was flying both a large and small confederate flag. The 2007 google map imagery from the road just shows a small flag flying. The satellite imagery shows the larger flag, poorly. I'm asking for trouble online, i suppose, but i left a one star google review noting the flags. The first time we drove by, an African-American woman was driving by in the opposite direction: i can't imagine living near there. Christine, this morning, is still distressed by driving by the place.

The apple trees look great, but i can't put off getting trees in the ground much longer. At least at this time of year they are slowing down.

When we got home we did spend some time under the house, delightfully decent thanks to getting it "encapsulated" a year plus ago. White plastic on the floor, bright lights in the fixtures, silver insulation on the walls. It's pretty easy to see things against the white plastic. There are some tiny holes, field mouse or vole sized, chewed in the plastic. I'm pondering sending my nephew under there to tape them up. While it's cleanish under there, it's still crawling and rolling. My muscles aren't happy about it. Our current theory is that a cat (probably Edward) pulled up the vent while chasing something. I don't know that i believe it, but we didn't see any evidence of bigger critters under there.

I appreciate my extra hour back, but i would be grateful if we just stopped fiddling with clocks.


*I've been reminded that pet names that are people names are a bit confusing. Which is quite fair when little critter context is provided.

blackhat

Too much excitement

We had a four foot minimum Eastern rat snake in the house this morning. Possibly the same one that was in this tree right out back before we had the heavy equipment take out all the stumps: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/12352882

Apparently rat snakes don't chase off copperheads: no one tell Christine. She feels a little friendly towards the big snake on the theory that they do.

We've decided to call him a him and name him Mr Morrison.

Anyhow, i pushed him to the door and then tossed a small towel over his head, picked him up, and gently tossed him two feet on to the front porch. That concrete was cold, and the snake didn't move off as quickly as i would have liked to see. Confronted with the broom again, he coiled himself up in a tight S shape and "rattled" his tail. I went and got a long metal hook, used to hang bird feeders or flower pots, and lifted him up with that and carried him to a sunny spot.

Christine is taping down air vents. Here's what it looked like yesterday morning.


Airvent pushed up with pink insulation all over it.