Bay Reflections

Vol. 8, No. 43
Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2000
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Halloween Effects by Mother Nature
Life in the country brings unexpected visitors
by Joan Bennett Clancy

I do not have to put out hard cash to have creepies, crawlies and things that go bump in the day or night. Halloween effects were done for me.

Mother nature loves me. Well, maybe not me, but she likes my domicile to shelter her critters. Any drawer, any shelf, she lets no place be unoccupied. I am getting good at saying, "Oh my gosh!" - slam and shudder.

Life in the country brings unexpected-expected visitors. Comfy spaces are everywhere for silent, slithery SsNNAaKkeeeeESsss. In the summer, they cool under the pool coping. They sun-splay themselves across my jelly-thong slippers. One size fits all. Let me know when you're through.

Outside is one thing, but most recently I found a huge coil in my silver drawer. I suspect the task at hand was to find the little field mouse that has been eating my dried sunflowers. I respect the masters; now I knock in the drawer before getting a utensil.

Startle-screaming is tiring.

The wisteria vines are draped with proof that snakes get bigger and bigger and must shed the old suit. Collected, they make a marvelous Halloween prop.

The basement, the house's tomb, usually shelters only a heater that purrs when it makes hot water. Lately, however, late night baths have included an orchestrated thump, a digging sound and a thud! After a while I rallied the courage to see what was down there. I found opossum of various ages, sizes and stages. Some were leather. It took friends and strangers to entrap the marauders. I possessed my territory again.

Enough is enough, right? That's what I thought about the birthing of four little somethings in the bag of Christmas tissue paper behind sealed closet doors. How do they get where they are? There is a furry critter running around my house wondering, "Where did I put them?" My lips are sealed.

Birds! They push their boundaries and come inside. I admit my porch is an unfair lure. There is a lot of 'real estate' from other nesters. The flowers are magnetic, but the birds come inside to hide in the banana tress. They nestle until I come in to rest, then swish down to flight and frighten.

I'm not going to talk about the squirrels because they're making me nuts. Nor will I mention the tiny tan snakes, the raccoons or the hundreds of praying mantises. The neighbor's black cat is sentry on the stoop. Oh, bats? Yeah, I have bats. Check out the pool at dusk.

The gnawing noise from the cross rails of the porch is a noisy bug that the woodpeckers love: knock, knock, knock Hello? Nobody is there but rail holes.

Yes, I have spiders and huge webs.

Halloween is a snap. Thanks for the help, Mother. I'm all ready. Lest I forget how ready, I can always peek in the mirror.

Joan Bennett Clancy writes from Fairhaven.

Copyright 2000
Bay Weekly