Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Creepy Crawlies

Week of April 26 through May 2

In one day, 11 inches of rain fell in our area. Things were very gushy. Now, after the puddles have dried and the plants have soaked up all the moisture from the ground, our yard and our garden are bursting forth with life. And not just plants. In the last week I have seen more creatures in our yard than I ever have before.

The day after the Big Rain, I was inspecting our yard and garden for any storm damage when I noticed that Gidget was particularly enthralled with something on our patio. Gidget is a very prudent pouncer, prefering not to waste her precious energies on anything as pedestrian as a grasshopper or house fly, so to see her so mesmerized by something meant it had to be good. When I reached the concrete pad, I saw her gently pat-pat-patting a frog. She would reach out her paw and gingerly touch the frog's bottom, then immediately withdraw her paw and watch the frog take one quick jump forward. Then ever-so-gently she would reach out and pat the frog again. The unlikely playmates circled the patio at least twice, pat-hop-pat-hop, and Gidget never got rough with the frog and the frog never took more than one small jump forward. If I could speak Cat, I know Gidget would have told me that this, this, was the best toy she'd ever had.

Where Gidget is positively bored, Gizmo finds all things that flutter, flap or twitch to be facinating. She is constantly streaking across the yard to attack the wind. Every movement in the grass and every rustle in the trees deserves her full and uninterrupted attention. It is exhasuting to watch her in action. She was recently captivated by a dragonfly when she noticed that I was interested in taking its picture, but got a little disoriented when it flew from our garden to the boxwood shrubs along the fence.

The Husband noticed that something had been chewing on the bell pepper plants and on our lemon tree. We assumed it was slugs, but he couldn't find any to prove our theory. Finally, after much investigation, and many overturned leaves, he found a centipede. Apparently, centipedes are very rare in our neck of the woods, at least according to the expert at our local garden center.

In case you were wondering, that centipede is sitting on a leaf on my kitchen table. Mere millimeters away from insect-ifying the place where we eat. The Husband staged and took this horrifying photo (without my knowledge), and will be hearing from my lawyers when he returns from his latest trip to the Middle East. Bugs placed purposefully on the table. Barf.

Aside from trying to induce insect related vomiting in his wife, The Husband did manage to solve the centipede issue by sprinkling powdery insecticide in the garden. I refused to go anywhere near the backyard while he was sprinkling for centipedes because, according to The Husband, "there were millions of them crawling out from in-between the rocks." Now imagine that phrase uttered with as much excitement as if hundred dollar bills were raining from the sky. Boys. According to the garden expert, this sprinkling had to be done at night, and while he was outside in the dark The Husband found two more garden-munching culprits.

Snails are cute and slugs look like snot. I don't know why I differentiate between tiny, slimy, antennaed, night-crawlers, but I find one adorable and one disgusting.

All creatures great and small, the Good Lord made them all.

Around Our House Next Week: Painting and Sewing while The Husband is away on business (again!)

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