My super-busy season has begun, and I’m so busy trying to keep up with everything that I’ve just not had time to write. However, today it’s raining, and now that I have some time to sit at my desk and write, my creative mojo is hiding from me. Not one single interesting or inspirational topic to share with you is coming to mind.
Regardless, there have been so many odds and ends I’ve wanted to share with you, but none of them worthy of an entire post, so I will ramble on and see where this goes.
For example, for a while now a pair of downy woodpeckers has been taking turns going in and out of a rotten hole in a tree at the camp. One parent sits inside the hole, head poking out, until the other parent arrives, and they swap places.
They never make a sound to announce their arrival, but sure as it’s raining right now, they instinctively seem to know when it’s time for the changing of the guard. By now I’m convinced this is their nesting place and they must be tending to either eggs or their young.
Every time I go to the camp, I glance up to see if there might be some tiny down woodpeckers learning to fly from that hole. When they do, I surely hope I’m there to see it.
Then there was the poor dewberry crop. I only picked one batch, which were basically tasteless from the lack of rain. I stuck them in the freezer and will probably make a batch of cordial with them when the inspiration hits me. The last batch didn’t turn out so well. Guess I let it sit WAY too long!
Oh, there are baby figs on the fig tree! And now that it’s raining, they should grow nice and plump for the picking later on this month or just in time for me to make my annual batch of fig preserves.
How about a bumper crop of alligators we’ve seen while out on tours so far this spring? I have plenty photos of them. I must note that I have never, in all my years of photographing gators, seen them resting one atop the other. But this year, I’ve seen it twice. Once in a past post, and then again as seen below.
My guess is that these are farm-raised gators who became really close friends at the farm, and now that they have been released into the wild, they are sticking close together for comfort.
Sometimes while the film crew is off during their thing in another boat, I hang around and take artsy- fartsy photos like this one of a rotten tree.
Wait, let me call it Aged Wood instead of rotten tree, since it’s an artsy photo!
And now for the tale I’ve gone back and forth with myself about whether or not to tell you.
I channeled Anne of Green Gables.
Well, it was a nice spring day working at the camp this week, but for the life of me, I can’t recall what I was going into the shed for when a bucket distracted me. It wasn’t just any bucket. It was a bucket into which I had put a big wad of Spanish moss and water in my first efforts to cure the moss for doll-making later on. (I was inspired by a recent article I wrote for Country Roads Magazine to see if I might try my hand at the Houma Indian art of moss-doll making since it seems to be a dying art.)
Oh, yes, it was a shovel I was going after. As I reached over the bucket for the shovel, I glanced down at the bucket and was reminded that I needed to hang the moss out on the fence to dry. When I glanced back a second time, just before slamming the shed door, I realized there was a rat staring up at me, his panicked eyes imploring.
At that very instant, visions of Anne (with an e) pulling a drowned mouse out of the plum pudding sauce, (which she had left uncovered in the pantry), flew through my mind. Difference is, this poor creature had not drowned but was clinging to dear life with only his head above the wet moss.
Oh no! What would I do? Grabbing the bucket and bringing it outside, the frightened rat blinked at the bright sunlight. It was gaunt and weak, and was surely on its last leg. I don’t like mice, but I hate rats, so I don’t know what came over me. I must be getting soft in my old age, or maybe senile, but there was no way I could put that rat out of its misery. I just couldn’t do it.
As I pulled the moss out of the bucket, I realized the rat’s foot was tangled in the moss, holding it captive. Yes, what I’m about to admit to you is insane, I know. I lay the entire mess on the ground and proceeded to untangle the moss from around the creepy creature’s ankle. (Do rats have ankles?)
Sparing you the oh-so-gory details, I pulled away all the moss I could, the rat’s tail flicking against my hand, giving me the heebeejeebies. Oh, Lord, am I really doing this? I mean, I set traps for these things.
Once free, the pitiful thing crawled across the ground, trying its best to escape. Then the fable of the lion and the mouse went through my addlepated brain.
I said to Rasputin (yeah, I named the dog-gone thing), “Hey Raz, don’t you know your fables? I’m trying to help you here” as I scooped him up with the shovel and tossed him out into a field of tall grass.
Hours later, when I dared look back at the place where I freed the rodent, it was gone. I figure it either crept away to die a dignified death, became fodder for the wild cat that stalks about, or it was hiding somewhere, healing up in order to raid my shed again.
I once again channeled Anne, “Well, I suppose in the end it was a romantic way to perish, for a mouse.”
Oh yes, all you germ and disease freaks, I immediately washed my hands multiple times with Dawn and hot water. Afterward, totally creeped out by what I had done, I busied myself maniacally with multiple tasks attempting to block the entire insane event out of my mind.
Well, folks, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Really?
Now, you to tell me just how certifiable I really am, or anything else you might want to say in the comment section!
Depending on how you look at it, I am
Insanely or Humanely yours,