Thursday, September 25, 2008
We have no pets, at least we thought we didn't, and hadn't since our cat died in 2005, but we've since learned differently. It seems that we are now living with or are surrounded by all types of critters. Here's the rundown:
1. Kamikazi hummingbird. Oh, sure, he looks innocent enough sitting up in this tree, but don't let that fool you. He's quite the dive-bomber and manages to scare us daily by zooming right past our heads or flying right up to our faces and hovering scant inches from our noses. He's very curious.
2. Bluehead. That's what we call him. We're very fond of this guy. We actually have a large assortment of geckos and lizards living with us. Can't keep them out. They don't really bother us much, except for their droppings, and they often startle us when we catch their quick movements upon entering a room or moving something around.
3. The wild bunch. These cute puppies belong to Dennis and Merlin, along with two other dogs. They love to come visit us and always cause mayhem, yesterday jumping up on my clean sliding deck doors and today trying to steal my flip-flops, then Don's. We had another beautiful black lab with a red collar show up one day, very thirsty, and he spent the entire day with us; we haven't seen him since.
4. Chilly-Willy. A Red Chilean tarantula who either lives in or around our front flower bed. He isn't poisonous and eats lots of insects, so we like him.
5. Leaf-cutter ants. We don't like these guys, although they are rather fascinating to watch as they run along in a straight line carrying my flower petals with them. They can strip a plant of all leaves overnight. Unfortunately, we have a lot of them. They just move around from plant to plant.
6. Leaping Lizards and Iguanas. We have a number of young iguanas and monkeylalas living in the shrubs along the front of our house and along the road. They're fun to watch, too, as they jump and chase each other. Monkeylalas are funny, they run upright, on their hind legs and can run across water.
7. El Gato. At least, I think the cat is a male. He frequently comes by when we're grilling fish. He's a beautiful cat, black with white mittens and tail tip and a red collar.
8. Merlin's rabbits. She started out with 6 and was convinced that they would not reproduce that much. HA! She has over 30 now. It's really difficult to count them. All the neighbors take their fruit and vegetable scraps up to their pen.
9. Termites. We just had the exterminator come out this week to inspect and then treat. We live in an all wood house, a target, and they are just everywhere anyway. We had noticed their trails up the piers supporting our house. Fortunately, they had done very little damage, just a nibble here and there. The exterminator will come monthly now.
10. Bats. Yup. We haven't seen them, but suspect that they are hanging out in the beams of our covered deck at night, sending their droppings onto the deck furniture. Dennis suggested leaving a light on at night and that seems to be keeping them away.
11. Butterflies. We live in the midst of a big flower garden: hibiscus, morning glories, bougainvillea, trumpet flowers, bird of paradise, cannas, zinnias, coleus, and much, much more (things I don't even know the name of yet), so we have a variety of butterflies, moths and hummers all over.
12. Ants. As if the termites and leaf-cutters weren't enough. My least favorite are the tiny "sweet" ants that are literally everywhere. We also have some black ants with white wings, some reddish ants & some pale ants at various times. Ugh. I'm bring back lots of Combat gel for ants on the next trip.